Report - - Birkenhead Dock Branch Line and Haymarket Tunnel, Wirral- June 2020 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Birkenhead Dock Branch Line and Haymarket Tunnel, Wirral- June 2020


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The History: The Birkenhead Dock Branch is a disused railway line which runs for about four and a half miles between the South Junction of Rockferry to around Bidston Dock, as part of the Chester and Birkenhead Railway. Some of the line runs through Haymarket tunnel and there was a level crossing through the centre of Birkenhead. A great deal of the trackwork is still in place. This railway is one of the oldest stretches of track in the world. It has been used by both steam and diesel engines. It was opened in 1847 and closed in 1993.

The Explore: Getting through the overgrowth was an absolute mission and it was pretty unrelenting for the first half hour or so. We explored on a really hot day and ran out of water pretty much immediately. We followed the railway along from the old signal box, stopping for a while at the Haymarket tunnel. We had a look at the Monks Ferry tunnel and the Woodside tunnel but we were unable to access either of them. We followed the tracks about as far as Green Lane where we got worried that we would end up coming out onto the live railway. As we could not find any other way out, we retraced our steps, battled through the overgrowth once more and ran straight to the corner shop upon emerging for some much needed cans of drink! A nice, interesting walk to do on a sunny day, dotted with lots of relics of the old railway history.



The burnt out Canning Street signal box


A picture to show the density of the overgrowth











A large cutting underneath the flyovers next to the Birkenhead Tunnel


A mysterious hole in the ground. Does anyone know what this is?



A view from the bridge with the Anglican cathedral over the water in the background


The Monks Ferry and Woodside tunnel portals



Queller of the uprising
Regular User
Nice little report and pictures there! Liking the brickwork and arches and would definitely be jumping in that hole or going through that gate! If I had a guess that hole is either some sort of access tunnel depending on the size, or if it’s on the smaller scale, maybe just a drainage tunnel?


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The former Railtrack has, in the past, indicated an interest in seeing the line reopened for goods services. However, Network Rail as of 2012 has not followed through with any action in this regard. The Peel Group, who are behind the multibillion-pound Wirral Waters redevelopment of the docks, announced in February 2013 that they intend on using the abandoned route to run a streetcar system.The plan involves connecting Wirral Waters to the Merseyrail network at Birkenhead North and Hamilton Square stations, utilising the stretch of dock branch trackbed along Beaufort Road and Corporation Road, with inner and outer loops around Vittoria Dock and East Float, respectively. Options to connect this new system to Conway Park and Birkenhead Park stations are also available. Further details at https://www.sunlinkstreetcar.com/documents/TramnewsArticle_2_2013_000.pdf


Cave Monster
28DL Full Member
Liking this! Some nice photos in here. It's been a while since I've had a poke around, and this has inspired me to get back out! :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well done. That looked like hard work. Hope you did not find any wasp nest..


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Plans from this years joke council include filling it in in places near the job centre and taking it at road level, but then other plans have emerged of a tram link between Bidston and Rock ferry there is an old Blackpool tram parked up near Beufort rd, for use on the line, the line goes neear Birkenhead Central, Conway Park and ROck Ferry ,Bidston etc , so would make an excellent transit line, Merseytravel have no intrest in it as do Network Rail, so it will be up to Wirral Waters to fund it, probably with governmnet grants.