St Helens Junction railway station

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St Helens Junction National Rail
Station building, St. Helens Junction railway station (geograph 3818805).jpg
PlaceSutton, Merseyside
Local authoritySt Helens
Grid referenceSJ535932
Station codeSHJ
Managed byNorthern
Number of platforms2
DfT categoryE
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 0.344 million
2014/15Increase 0.359 million
2015/16Increase 0.386 million
2016/17Decrease 0.385 million
– Interchange 5,870
2017/18Increase 0.414 million
– Interchange Increase 6,657
Passenger Transport Executive
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at St Helens Junction from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

St Helens Junction railway station is a railway station serving St Helens, Merseyside, England. It is in Sutton, 3 miles south-west of St Helens town centre; the station is on the electrified northern route of the Liverpool to Manchester Line, 12 miles (19 km) east of Liverpool Lime Street (on the former Liverpool and Manchester Railway). The station and all trains calling there are presently operated by Northern.


St Helens Junction station was opened in 1830 as part of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway,[1] and is one of the oldest passenger railway stations in the world; these early intermediate stations were often little more than halts, usually positioned where the railway was crossed by a road or turnpike.[2] This probably accounts for variations in the names of these stopping places,[3] St Helens Junction station was probably originally known as Bottom of Sutton Incline becoming St Helens Junction sometime in 1832 or 1833.[3] Although a local historian puts the opening date as 1833;[4] the OS 6 inch map surveyed in 1846-47 has the station named as St. Helens station.[5]

The station was situated to the south of Sutton just after the Manchester facing connecting line from the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway, hence it being called Junction; the main line of the St Helens and Runcorn Gap Railway crossed the Liverpool and Manchester Railway on an overbridge shortly before the junction and station.[5] That route, which ran originally from the town of St Helens to the area which would later develop into the town of Widnes, opened on 21 February 1833 making this station the focal point of one of the first inter-company junctions.[6]

The station originally had four platforms - two through lines and two bay platforms on the northern and southern sides of the main building which mostly dealt with local services (this is now part of the station roadway approach and car park arrangements). Trains from Liverpool Lime Street would also terminate at St Helens Junction until the mid 1950s, whilst the shuttle service to/from St Helens Shaw Street was withdrawn in June 1965. Several walkway bridges have been constructed and demolished since the station opened in 1833; the Georgian buildings on the south facing platforms were demolished in the early 1960s and a small open waiting shelter built in their place.

To the west of the station on the south side of the line stood the London and North Western Railway tarpaulin factory, known locally as 'the sheeting sheds', access from Monastery Lane being provided by a footbridge known as 'the pudding bag bridge', a favourite location of trainspotters in the 1950s as the steam engines of westbound trains were being fired to climb the Sutton bank with its 2.5 km of 1 in 90 gradient. The station building was listed as a Grade II listed building on 14 October 2016; the reasons given were: its historic interest, representing a second generation of station buildings; its Classical design; its degree of survival, being relatively unaltered; and its group value with other listed buildings on the line.[7]

The lines through the station were due to be electrified by December 2014[8] but the work was finally completed in early March 2015, 3 months behind schedule.[9]

In 2013, concern was expressed that parking space at the station was inadequate.[10][11] In August 2017, Merseytravel announced that a new car park would be built at the station, increasing the number of parking spaces from 66 to 240; the £792,000 package of works would also see improvements to the CCTV coverage and lighting and the creation of additional blue-badge parking spaces. The extension was completed and opened on 14 May 2018.[12]


The station is staffed throughout the day (including Sundays), with the ticket office (on the eastbound-platform) open from 15 minutes before start of service until 23:50 each evening. There are shelters on each platform, along with customer help points, timetable poster boards and digital display screens to provide train running information. Step-free access is available to both platforms, though that for the westbound one requires staff assistance (as it is via a steep ramp and locked gate);[13] the two platforms are also linked by footbridge. There is car parking for 240 vehicles.


On Monday to Saturday daytimes, there are two trains per hour in each direction. Trains head west to Liverpool Lime Street and east to either Manchester Airport and Crewe or Warrington Bank Quay, with an hourly service to each.[14] Services to Manchester Victoria only operate in peak periods since the May 2018 timetable change, whilst there is also a single evening peak hour train to Wigan North Western via Earlestown.

No TransPennine Express services stop here - the Liverpool to Scarborough fast trains instead call at neighbouring Lea Green, which has better bus links to and from St Helens town centre.

Electrification has seen the introduction of 4-Car Class 319 electric trains on the Manchester Airport, Manchester Victoria and Warrington Bank Quay services.

Sundays see an hourly service in each direction to Liverpool and to Manchester Piccadilly & Manchester Airport but no direct service to Manchester Victoria or Warrington.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  2. ^ Ferneyhough, Frank (1980). Liverpool & Manchester Railway, 1830-1980. R. Hale. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-7091-8137-8.
  3. ^ a b G O Holt (1965). A short history of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (Second ed.). The Railway and Canal Historical Society. p. 22.
  4. ^ Wainwright, Stephen R. (2014). "An Illustrated History of Old Sutton in St.Helens, Part 29 (of 77) - Transport in Sutton (St.Helens)". Sutton Beauty & Heritage. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ a b "St Helens Junction station". National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  6. ^ Donaghy, Thomas J. (1 January 1972). Liverpool & Manchester Railway operations, 1831-1845. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. pp. 151&152. ISBN 0-7153-5705-0.
  7. ^ Historic England, "St Helens Junction Station (1437498)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 21 October 2016
  8. ^ "Electrification in the North". Network Rail. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help); Cite web requires |website= (help)
  9. ^ First 319s run on NorthernRailnews; Retrieved 6 March 2015
  10. ^ Wilson, Anthony (24 October 2013). "Letters: The rail car park at Junction Station is too small". St Helens Star. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ St Helens Junction station facilities National Rail Enquiries; Retrieved 22 December 2016
  14. ^ Table 90 National Rail timetable, May 2019

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Lea Green   Northern
Liverpool to Manchester Line
(Northern Route)
Wavertree Technology Park   Northern
Liverpool to Manchester Airport Line

Coordinates: 53°26′02″N 2°42′00″W / 53.434°N 2.700°W / 53.434; -2.700