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Thread: Do photographs exist of Langton Branch Junction?

  1. #1

    Default Do photographs exist of Langton Branch Junction?

    have to set this as a challenge or offer a reward or something, because I have tried every avenue I know to find pictures of this junction and surrounding areas for over 10 years now and still cannot find anything,

    the main reason is that my dad lived near to this junction in the 50s and 60s his friends house at the time overlooked the junction and has countless stories of the railways there,mainly of him and his freinds being tearaways on the railway line, but we can still not find even a single photograph.

    for those that do not know, Langton branch Junction was a junction onto a short single line leading to the linacre gas works in Bootle , built by the Midland railway, on branch off the Cheshire lines railway situated between Soutport road and Fernhill road Bootle it closed in 1968, my dad was 12 at the time, he recalls trains from the docks with all sorts of mixed freights working very hard and slow on the line marked red, as it was a very steep line up from the docks, he remember black 5s mostly, and trains for the gas works, usually a black 5 with 20 or so mineral wagons backing into the gas works at dinner time, this is the line marked blue which was single line and climbed up over the leeds and liverpool canal and into the gas works, there where sidings here.

    one story is that theyre was a home signal protecting the junction and my dad and his friends used to swing a rope around it and pull it down, so that the slow moving, hard working freight trains would have to stop and they would be rewarded with the spectacle of it trying to start off again on the steep gradient. theyre was no signal box here just a ground frame.

    he also recalls walking the line several times, being in the tunnel when trains where there, and even in the days when the track was lifted, it has now been filled in.

    If anyone has any photographs or info on this line we would be so so greatfull to see them, my dad has started work in a garage in between the lines 2 and it has brought back lots of memories, ive been giving him a hand there this week in the garage so will try and get photos as it is now as its enabled me to get into territory and vantage points I would never normally be able to get.

    Ive only ever seen a few photos of the gas works from overhead, they dont show the branch, and also of the western end of Bootle tunnel, Ive never seen a pic of the eastern end of the tunnel and junction, the tunnel is on the line marked red in the bottom left of this picture, it runs/ran under Marsh lane, my dad said watching trains emerge there was amazing, as it was busy, every freight train was different, ie you wouldnt know what would be on the wagons, he remembers trains of ford anglias, and the fact that the steam engines where working so hard.

    If anyone likes a challenge, I would offer this to them as the ultimate

    it would have been a photographers dream as steam was still used until 1968 on the line and it was such a steeply inclined line, with low road bridges as vantage points.

    thanks guys

  2. #2
    www.oldliverpoolrailways. oritelad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    good topic and good challenge

    i have quite a lot of info and photos on this branch but i am always looking for more, visit my website it may help you

    this branch keeps disappearing bit by bit as new developments are being build on the trackbed shame

  3. #3
    Senior Member merseywail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    I used to live not far from these lines & i too have not found many photos of them. It could be that Southport rd & Fernhill rd bridges are a lot lower now, than they were about 12 years ago , they are now half the hight they used to be. I do have a print that says on the back it's Bootle gas works branch, but research has shown it to be Garston.
    Last edited by merseywail; 03-30-2008 at 07:00 PM.

  4. #4


    I have seen photos somewhere, I'll do my best to remember where. As far as I know the branch had a junction with the CLC at the end of Hartley Avenue, carried over Rice Lane (the bridge is still there & has not long been repainted) One of the bridge abutments for the gas works branch survives in Hawthorne Road, just south of Acorn Way & as far as I know the bridge abutments remain over the canal a short distance further on. The tunnel under Marsh Lane began at the junctions of Marsh Lane, Aintree Road & Hawthorne Road and the exit was in between Oak Street and Beech Street ( if you go to the end of Beech street today you will find the surviving brickwork of the top of the tunnel mouth, now at ground level as that end has been filled in. The branch then went under Stanley Road and Strand station in the aforementioned tunnel now used by pedestrians. It carried on under Irlam Road (the bridge brickwork survives between Irlam Place & Brook Road and terminated at a depot bounded by Artic Rd, Strand Rd, Primrose Rd & Lyster Rd.

  5. #5


    I found this photo at:

    It is a view of the Langton branch looking north under what is now the Northern Line station at Bootle Strand. This underpass survives today for pedestrian use although it has quite clearly been filled in to some considerable extent. The bridge in the distance is Stanley Road, and the cutting beyond that is now occupied (I think) by Lidl (it was until fairly recently a car showroom)
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  6. #6


    Found another photo from a Bootle history website (there is no credit as to who took the photo, so apologies there) It shows the gas works and you can clearly see the gas works branch in the top right of the picture with the bridges over Hawthorne Road and the canal (if you look closely there is a rake of wagons on the bridge over Hawthorne road)
    I'll upload it as soon as I can, the attachments thing doesn't appear to be working

  7. #7


    Hi Chris,

    thanks for searching, dont mean to sound ungreatful here mate, but the ones on Phils site are ones ive sent him, and I have seen several of the west end of bootle tunnel and also one or 2 arial ones of the gasworks with the wagons that you mention.

    its just Ive never seen any of the east end, the junction or anywhere up to past the jail, even with the track lifted before it all got filled in.

    and notice how its filled in right up the border with Bootle/Liverpool then the Liverpool end is untouched and unfilled next to the prison.

    I wonder does Bootle have an archive department in its Library like the main Liverpool one in town?


  8. #8


    Sorry Mike
    Didn't realise they were your pictures and they are the only ones I've ever seen. I have seen a photo of Hartleys jam works taken from the air in the 30's ( my father-in-law had it as he used to own a unit in there up until the 90's) but I don't think the view is wide enough to show the junction with the CLC or the bridge over the Northern Line. That's the closest I've ever seen a photo get. When was the branch lifted, by the way?

  9. #9


    Mike, check out this link - or just go to British History Online/Maps. It's a collection of maps of Liverpool/Bootle from 1893. Open up the individual map tiles & the one for Bootle clearly shows the route of the branch from the docks to Hartley's Jam Factory. In addition it clearly shows the dozens of streets that then existed in & around Marsh Lane/Stanley Road/Strand Road etc.

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