Edge Hill Marshalling Yard & its complex of Railways

Presenter: George Howe

Branch member George Howe had put together over several years this afternoon’s presentation on “Edge Hill Marshalling Yard & its complex of Railways”.

Starting with some historic sketches and the history of the surrounding areas, such as Chat Moss, Sankey Viaduct, Mount Olive Cutting, The Morish Arch and Wapping Tunnel. This tunnel when originally built was opened to the public prior to the railway running through and was white washed and lit with gas lamps for the purpose. Wapping Tunnel was eventually dug out between 1880 & 1885 to make Lime Street cutting and widened from two tracks to four. In 1936 when Lime Street station was opened, locos were not allowed into the city, so a cable system was used to haul the trains from Edge Hill into Lime Street. Edge Hill yard was designed by Henry Footners, with the yard being on an 80 foot gradient. Footners took advantage of this to automatically sort the wagons without locos using just gravitation. Wagons were only braked on one side, so the brake using his hook and pole needed to know which side the brake was on. Wagons running from the reception sidings to the sorting sidings had a chalked number put on them by the yard foreman, adjacent to the buffer beam. These were then directed onto the right track to make up the train for departure to the right destination. It was agreed by members who had visited Edge Hill shed, which was double ended, that it was probably the filthiest in the country!

George followed this up with some photographs of locos in the surrounding areas, such as Liverpool Crown Street Yard, Riverside Station and the docks area. The afternoon concluded with some further photographs of the area as it is today covered with housing and industrial estates, and as a bonus some shots around Lime Street station in this modern era.

This was a thoroughly entertaining meeting full of so much detail and interest.