Site Records


Site Name: Liverpool Overhead Railway & Dingle Station

Kedleston Street (Dingle Station)
Liverpool L8
OS Grid Ref: SJ363876

Sub Brit site visit July 1999

[Source: Nick Catford - Historical text by Paul Bolger from 'The Dockers Umbrella']

 

Extensive bomb damage was inflicted during the Blitz but it was quickly repaired to maintain the smooth running of the docks. Modernisation of some of the nineteen 3-car sets had begun as the War drew to a close and eight were in operation by 1955. In the same year, the curved deck plates which supported the track were reported as being in need of replacement at an approximate cost of two million pounds.
This was beyond the financial resources of the company, who looked to the City Council and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for assistance. No adequate solution could be found and, despite rigorous public protests, the railway closed on December 30th, 1956. Rescue attempts continued until September, 1957, when the dismantlers moved in.

Photo:Dingle Station in the 1930's

Dingle station was the scene of the Overhead's worst disaster. In December 1901, an electrical fire on board an incoming train got out of control and fanned by the tunnel draught, quickly engulfed the terminus. Six people died and such was the devastation that the station was closed for more than a year.

Photo:Dingle Station in 1999
Photo by Nick Catford

After little more than sixty years existence, a much-loved, pioneering railway was rapidly removed from its prominent elevated position which had thrilled so many passengers with its unforgettable sights of dockland activity. Today, only traces can be seen in the form of columns set into the dock wall at Wapping, the tunnel portal at Herculaneum and the excavation at Dingle Station, now used by an engineering firm.

Street map showing the line of the tunnel

Although difficult to access the tunnel portal was sealed some years ago so the only access into the station site is from Kedleston Street off Park Road. Here a ramp leads down to the original station entrance subway with its white glazed brick walls now looking very grimy. The subway curves down onto what was the platform but is now a car repair workshop and storage area. At the top of the ramp there are a set metal gates (probably not original) and above the company monogram.

For much of its length from the portal above Herculaneum Dock the brick lined tunnel is in original condition and apart from a few dumped cars is not used by the engineering company. Approaching that station area the tunnel widens to take the crossover and island platform. There were also two short sidings on either side of the running lines and at the end of each siding a steel buffer can still be seen set into the brick wall.


Looking towards the tunnel

The station site has been cleared, the platform has been removed and the original access ramp has been extended down to track level. Beyond the station the tunnel again narrows, running a further 123 yards to a blind end. Here there are a further two steel buffers set into the wall at the end of each line. This section of tunnel has been converted into a car repair workshop with ramps, inspection pits and work benches.

For further pictures of Dingle Station click here

Sources:

 

[Source: Nick Catford - Historical text by Paul Bolger from 'The Dockers Umbrella']

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