LUPTS railtour of Liverpool Docks, 8th May 1965 :: Shared Description

The Mersey Docks & Harbour Board (MDHB) operated possibly the most extensive industrial railway system in the UK, stretching along the River Mersey docks from Dingle oil terminal in the south to Gladstone Dock in the north.

For several years the Liverpool University Public Transport Society (LUPTS) had requested a railtour of the system. Finally, in 1965 the request was granted, but strictly on the basis that no subsequent tours would be operated. This proviso was strictly adhered to, so that this tour remains the only occasion on which passengers were carried on the system.

Having agreed to the tour, the MDHB did the organisers proud. At the time the MDHB was in the process of converting from steam to diesel traction. The train was hauled by the oldest locomotive still in working order, No.1 in the fleet, an 0-6-0 saddle tank built in 1904 by the Avonside Engine Co. of Bristol (works no.1465), which was turned out in immaculate condition, down to white painted buffers. At the rear of the train was the latest diesel, no.42, which facilitated the reversal of the train at various points.

Passengers were carried in a series of traditional 4-wheel open wagons, in which some long benches were provided.

The tour started from the engine shed/workshop at Princes Dock and followed this itinerary:

9.00 a.m. Assemble Princes Locomotive Shed (situated at the eastern approaches to the bridge separating Princes Half Tide and Princes Dock: about ½ mile north of Pier Head) for a brief introduction by the Dock Railway Manager and an opportunity of comparing steam locomotive No 1 with the latest diesel engine No 42. The locomotive foreman will be present to answer any questions.

9.30 a.m. Depart on a northerly course accompanied by a Railway Inspector, following the main dock lines to East Huskisson No 1, where a brief look at North No 1 and South No 3 Huskisson Branch Dock Sheds may be possible. Thence via South No 1 Canada to West Canada Dock and a view of West Brocklebank Shed and Langton River Entrance.

10.15 a.m. Continue via North No 3 Canada Branch and the main dock lines to the Gladstone System.

10.45 a.m. Return via North No 3 Alexandra Branch, West Alexandra (if time permits, a short look at West Langton Dock), South No 1 Alexandra Branch, following the main dock lines to Princes Locomotive Shed (arriving at approximately 11.45 a.m.)


A great day out and what was properly a unique occasion.

No.1 was withdrawn from service a short time afterwards, and presented to Liverpool Museum. As of 2020 it is in store and not on public display.
by Alan Murray-Rust
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11 images use this description:

SJ3394 : On Regent Road at Brocklebank Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3390 : Waiting to load passengers at Princes Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : MDHB no.11 at North Carriers' Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : Alongside the western shed at Brocklebank Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3391 : No.1 leaving the Princes Dock workshop by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : At Brocklebank Graving Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : By the western shed at Brocklebank Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : Approaching the swing bridge at Brocklebank Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : MDHB no.31 at North Carriers' Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : On Regent Road at North Carriers' Dock by Alan Murray-Rust
SJ3394 : MDHB loco shed at North Carriers' Dock by Alan Murray-Rust


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Created: Wed, 17 Jun 2020, Updated: Wed, 17 Jun 2020

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2020 Alan Murray-Rust, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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