North Mersey Branch from overgrown mess to Preserved Railway!
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The North Mersey Branch.This is the disused railway that currently runs through Bootle and to Aintree. Completely overgrown, in a right state. Therefore as a rail enthusiast and avid enthusiast of the North Mersey Branch Line, I have had the idea to encourage Network Rail to have the line reopened as a heritage, preserved railway for the stabling, showcasing and preservation of Merseyside units old and new. Now although it may seem like an out there idea however no matter what transport executives or Merseytravel may say, I highly doubt the passenger stations that ceased in 1951, will ever reopen. It no longer serves a mainstream purpose. Whilst providing easy "access" for trains in the Down direction between the Southport and Ormskirk Lines, there is noway a train could get anywhere near due to how overgrown and littered it is. Current Merseyrail traction can't use it without loco hauled operation because it is no longer electrified. Freight/Engineering trains can not even access the line like they use to and it appears that it is not needed either. Because of this, locals are beginning to complain that the overgrowth is becoming a problem, both visually and physically. Especially on Netherton Way Bridge. Also it doesn't really go anywhere else. All the spurs to the Docks, Fazakerely, Southport, Kirkby etc have all been lifted decades previously. The next point comes in that often the preserved Merseyside traction is often needing to be re homed, what better place than the lines they used to serve on? There is a remaining Class 502 and the Driving Trailer of a Merseyrail Yellow Class 936. There might even be a saved Class 507 or 508 when they get phased out in 2020. I feel a good idea would be to maybe provide a shed on the former Platform three site at Aintree where the two lines to the Metal Box spur still remain. Storage for these units. Then if needs be they can be brought out on the line to make test runs or viewing for visitors, without the need to electrify because a small diesel shunter could be provided, also utilizing the spur from the Merseyrail lines at either Aintree or Bootle Junction. I feel strongly that this is an excellent option for this line and it is giving it a new lease of life in what I think is a pure and nostalgic way. No track would need re laying nor would any third/fourth rail or Overhead Electrical equipment. No stations to be built. It would also clear up the overgrowth so the residents of areas served in Bootle, Aintree, Netherton, Litherland can be proud of having these rotting areas looking nice and trim! Without a plan who knows how much longer it will be left to grow and what then? If the track gets ripped up we will just have a stretch of disused land sprawling under bridges and over viaducts and it just doesn't look nice. It is giving these rotting sections a new lease of life and more so for the preserved units whilst also providing a safe home and not interfering with any current Merseyrail passenger or freight services! If you think this would be a good idea because you are a rail fan or you just want to see action taken against the overgrowing and neglect then please do not hesitate to sign! Thank you ever so much for reading!
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