The Mersey Railway was a passenger railway that connected the communities of Liverpool and Birkenhead, which lie on opposite banks of the River Mersey, via the Mersey Railway Tunnel from 1886 to 1948. The railway opened with four stations using steam locomotives hauling unheated wooden carriages; in the next six years the line was extended and three more stations opened. Using the first tunnel built under the Mersey the line is the world’s oldest underground railway outside of London.
However, the steam locomotives created a polluted atmosphere in the tunnel, and passengers reverted to using the river ferries. The railway was bankrupt by 1900. Recovery came after the railway adopted electric traction with equipment provided by Westinghouse in1903. The Mersey Railway escaped the railway grouping of 1923, although it became closely integrated with the electric train services operated by the LMS over the former Wirral Railway routes from 1938. The Mersey Railway was nationalised, along with most other British railway companies, in 1948.
The tunnel and railway are still in use today as part of the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network. This is a nicely designed brochure, a souvenir of the line’s centenary which fell in 1986.
PREVIEW BELOW – MAY TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD.