Wednesday, 15 August 2012

James Street Station, Liverpool

James Street station on far right with its hydraulic tower

James Street railway station is located in the centre of Liverpool, England, and situated on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network. James Street is an underground station; access is via lift from James Street and, at peak times, via a tunnel from the India Buildings on Water Street.

The station opened as the original terminus of Mersey Railway Tunnel in 1886. In 1892 the tunnel was extended to Liverpool Central station. By this time, there were trains from Liverpool to Birkenhead Park and Rock Ferry stations in Birkenhead. The line was electrified in 1903. Through trains to West Kirby and New Brighton commenced in 1938, when the former Wirral Railway routes were electrified. There were originally two platforms, either side of a twin-track tunnel.  The station building was destroyed in WW2. Read more on Wikipedia

Lowry refers to the station in his short story 'Enter One In Sumptuous Armour'; "At Birkenhead Park we left the car. ....We took the Mersey Underground Railway. My father was getting off at James Street: we said goodbye, under the sea, without ceremony. I went on to Central." (Pg. 233). The journey made by the narrator of the story may have been a familiar one to Lowry as he is on his way back to school probably using the same route as Lowry did - by car from Caldy, underground to Liverpool Central station and main line train to the Leys School.

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