Local authoritySefton
Grid referenceTemplate:Gbmapscaled
Station codeSOP
Managed byMerseyrail
Platforms in use6
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail
Annual rail passenger usage
2004/05 * 1.550 million
2005/06 *11px 1.582 million
2006/07 *11px 1.669 million
2007/08 *11px 1.681 million
2008/09 *11px 3.095 million
Passenger Transport Executive
22 August 1851Opened (as Southport Chapel Street)
National Rail - UK railway stations
Template:Hide in print
* Annual passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Southport from Office of Rail Regulation statistics.
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Southport railway station serves the town of Southport, Merseyside, England. It is at the end of one of the branches of the Northern Line of the Merseyrail network, and at the end of the Manchester-Southport Line which runs via Wigan. The station and services to Liverpool and Hunts Cross are run by Merseyrail, and Manchester services are operated by Northern Rail.


The Liverpool line was originally built in 1848 by the Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway to a temporary station at Eastbank Street, about half a mile short of the current terminus. The current station opened as Southport Chapel Street on 22 August 1851, and became the terminus for all trains from Wigan in 1857, when passenger services were transferred from the adjacent Southport London Street.[1]

From 1882 the West Lancashire Railway to Preston Fishergate Hill operated from Southport Derby Road (later known as Southport Central) outside Chapel Street Station.

In 1884, another line from Southport to Liverpool was opened: the Cheshire Lines Committee's (CLC) North Liverpool Extension Line from Liverpool Central to Southport Lord Street. The West Lancashire Railway sponsored the Liverpool, Southport and Preston Junction Railway to provide a connection to the CLC line, joining it at Altcar and Hillhouse. These lines ultimately proved uncompetitive, however, and the Southport services were withdrawn in January 1952.[2]

In July 1897, both the West Lancashire and the Liverpool, Southport and Preston Junction Railways were absorbed into the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&Y). The L&Y had a large terminus at Southport Chapel Street and could see no sense in operating two termini at very close proximity. On 1 May 1901 the L&Y completed a remodelling of the approach lines to Southport Central to allow trains to divert onto the Manchester to Southport line and into Southport Chapel Street Station. Southport Central was closed to passengers and it became a goods depot eventually amalgamating with Chapel Street depot. It survived intact well into the 1970s.

The Preston line was closed to passengers on 7 September 1964,[3] although a small section to Hesketh Park station was used for freight until 1967. This line had its electric local services to Crossens and its through steam services withdrawn on consecutive days immediately before the official closure date - the only such route to suffer that fate during the Beeching-era closures. Nowadays, the towns of Southport and Preston are linked only by the (largely dual-carriageway) A565 and A59 roads.

At its largest, Chapel Street station had eleven regular platforms and two excursion platforms. Now six truncated platforms are in use (platforms 1-3 for Liverpool trains & 4-6 for Manchester), the rest having been demolished to form a car park. In the 1970s the former terminal building was replaced with a shopping centre. Platform 7 was originally going to be saved and used as an excursion platform for when mainline specials were to visit the resort but this failed and it too was demolished along with platforms 8, 9 & 10.

Layout and amenities Edit

File:Two507s Southport.jpg
File:156425 Southport.jpg

The main entrance to this staffed station is located on the pedestrianised Chapel Street, one of Southport's main shopping areas. The car park immediately next to the station is reserved for taxis and staff only, but a large pay car park further along London Street is available for general public use.[4]

A new M to Go shop opened in 2007, incorporating a ticket office, and the station itself underwent a £3.5m renovation project which included a renewed roof, new lighting, glazed screens, floor tiles and toilets plus a retail unit.[5] Ticket barriers are in operation at this station.

Remains of the signal box, carriage & wagon works & sub station are still visible today but planned for demolition in the future as surplus to requirements.

The sidings next to the former South Curve still remain today but are not much used.

Services Edit

On weekdays and Saturdays, there are 4 trains per hour (tph) to Hunts Cross via Liverpool Central, 1 tph to Manchester Victoria and Stalybridge via Atherton and 1 tph to Manchester Airport via Bolton and Manchester Piccadilly. On Sundays in summer, there are 4 tph to Liverpool Central, two of which are extended to Hunts Cross. On winter Sundays, 2 tph run to Hunts Cross. On Sundays all year, there is 1 tph to Stockport via Bolton and Manchester Piccadilly (connections for Manchester Victoria are available at Wigan) ; alternate trains continue to Chester via Altrincham.


  1. Gell, Rob (1986). An Illustrated Survey of Railway Stations Between Southport & Liverpool 1848-1986. Heyday Publishing Company, ISBN 0-947562-04-4.
  2. Marshall, J (1981). Forgotten Railways: North West England. David & Charles (Publishers) Ltd, Newton Abbott. ISBN 0-7153-8003-6; p 80
  3. Marshall, J (1981). Forgotten Railways: North West England. David & Charles (Publishers) Ltd, Newton Abbott. ISBN 0-7153-8003-6; p.152
  4. Station facilities at Southport station, National Rail. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  5. "Station transformation well under way", Network Rail, 6 November 2007. Retrieved on 8 May 2008.

External linksEdit

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Preceding station 12px National Rail Following station
Terminus   Merseyrail
Northern Line
Terminus   Northern Rail
Manchester-Southport Line
  Meols Cop
Historical railways

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Template:Merseyside railway stations

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