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Hartley Quay Dock Railway

As the Liverpool Docks expanded along the Mersey, they came face to face with a challenge which other cities did not: ships docked further and further from the central business district. Places like Manchester and Bristol stood astride their rivers, and twice the mileage of docks could be fitted per river mile than on Merseyside.

Therefore, much more than other places, railway transport became important to transporting goods from the outlying docks into town, perhaps to carry on their journeys further into Britain, or onto new ships going elsewhere.

The remains of rails are still embedded in the areas around Liverpool docks, even though the roads are now dedicated to other vehicles. It’s interesting to note that at one time the roads would have been shared between the locomotives on the one hand and vehicles like trucks and horse-drawn carts on the other.

Even in the early 1960s steam engines could still be seen following a man with a flag near the Pier Head, but by then the increasing pressure from the motorcar was becoming too much, and the main roads along the docklands – the Strand for example – were in need of modernisation to deal with the increased traffic.

Today, rails can still be seen outside the Maritime Museum entrance, bounded by two sets of buffers, and leading into a large iron-banded door to the north east side.

More information

The Dock Railway, 1962, Streets of Liverpool, Colin Wilkinson

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