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Liverpool Overhead Railway

The Liverpool Overhead Railway

Seaforth and Litherland Station

Alexandre Dock Station

North End Seaforth Sands Station

Seaforth Sands Station

Overhead Railway at the Pier Head
The Liverpool Overhead Railway was the worlds first electrically operated overhead railway,  The railway was carried on iron viaducts with a corrugated iron decking, into which the tracks were laid. The railway ran from Alaxander dock to Herculaneum dock, a distance of six miles and was opened on the 4th February 1893 by the leader of the opposition the Marquis of Salisbury.It used standard gauge track with 11 intermediate stations along the line.  The railway gained the affectionate nickname of 'The Dockers Umbrella'.  The line was extended to Seaforth sands on 30th April 1894 a further extension Southwards from Herculaneum dock to the Dingle was opened on 21st December 1896.  Dingle was the lines only underground Station and was located on Park Road, the station is still there and is now used as a garage. Finally a northward extension was created to the Lancashire and North Yorkshire Railways North Mersey Branch on 2nd of July 1905.

Huskisson Dock

Herculaneum Dock Bridge
The section of  Railway that  
led to the underground Station


The Station on Park Road in the Dingle
Prices on display Dingle

The Platforms at Dingle Station

Train at Dingle Station

During World War II the Port of Liverpool was was the country's main link across the Atlantic and therefore vital for the constant supply of war materials and food.  Consequently the long sprawl of docks along side the Mersey was a major target for the Luftwaffe and given it's close proximity to the docks it was no surprise that the Overhead railway  suffered much damage from enemy bombing raids during the blitz.
Remarkably, no trains were lost to the bombers during the war despite regular damage to the track.

The iron decks of the railway of course were vulnerable to corrosion especially as the steam operated dock railway operated beneath some sections of the line. During surveys it was discovered that expensive repairs would be necessary to ensure the lines long term survival, at a cost of £2 million pounds. The Liverpool Overhead Railway Company could not afford such costs and looked to Liverpool City Council and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for assistance, this was to no avail.

The Liverpool Overhead Railway had no option but to go into voluntary liquidation.  Accordingly and despite considerable protest in the City, the line was closed on the evening of 30th December 1956.  The final trains left from either end of the line marking it's closure with a loud bang as they passed each other. Both trains were full to capacity with well wishers and employees of the company.

The Dingle station later became a Garage.

The Garage that is now in use at the old Dingle Station

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