John Speller's Web Pages - Other Railways
Wirral Railway Untitled Untitled
The Hoylake Railway was incorporated on 28 July 1863 and opened from Hoylake to New Brighton on 5 July 1865. A further Act of 18 July 1872 extended the line to Birkenhead under the auspices of the Hoylake & Birkenhead Railway. It was again renamed the Seacombe, Hoylake & Deeside Railway on 18 July 1881, and finally became the Wirral Railway on 13 June 1883 in connection with its extension to Birkenhead Park station to link up with the Mersey Tunnel. Although the Wirral Railway is a mere 13 miles long, it formed an important link for the surrounding railways, especially the Great Central, and remains an important suburban line. While it might more naturally have been grouped into the LNER, it in fact became part of the LMS in 1923. Electrification had been contemplated as early as 1900, and in fact a contract for this was signed with Westinghouse in 1903. Lack of money led to the cancellation of the contract and it was not until 1938 that electrification was achieved under the LMS with government assistance.
Wirral Railway train behind 0-4-4 tank engine No. 3, built in 1914
In 1896 the Wirral Railway's Locomotive Superintendent, Eric Gordon Barker, designed No. 11, the first 4-4-4 tank engine built in Britain and one of the earliest with a Belpaire firebox
Wirral Railway train behimd 4-4-2 tank engine No. 1, built in 1892
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