Recalling the great days of the LMS. Duchess pacific No 6233 Duchess of Sutherland in black livery on the long climb out of Liverpool entering Edge Hill Station with the Cumbrian Mountain Express.
The first station at Edge Hill, which opened on 15 September, 1830 on the route of the original Liverpool and Manchester Railway, was located in a deep sandstone cutting, with three tunnels at the west end. The largest bore, in the centre, was the Wapping Tunnel, a long incline leading to Wapping Dock. The goods wagons descended by gravity, but were hauled up by a winding engine. When first opened, it was whitewashed, lit by gas, and used as a promenade by visitors.
The tunnel to the north of the central bore was much shorter and inclined upwards, leading to the passenger terminal at Crown Street. Here the trains descended by gravity to Edge Hill station and were wound up into Crown Street. The southern tunnel was originally a short length leading nowhere and used as a storage shed: its chief purpose was to create a symmetrical appearance. It was later extended on a curving incline so that it could pass over the Wapping tunnel and join the Crown Street tunnel.
At the opposite end of the station area were the boilers of a stationary steam engine. These were used for the rope-winding mechanism. Each formed the base of a fine Moorish Arch. The smoke was channelled down rock cut flues to tall chimneys – known as the 'Pillars of Hercules' – on either side of the tunnel facing.
There were engine sheds and workshops cut into the rock either side of the station area, entered by transverse tracks accessed by turnplates.
The station area was rarely used for passengers, but rather for the marshalling of trains and the coupling and uncoupling of locomotives.
The decision to divert passenger traffic, by means of a new tunnel to Lime Street Station from Edge Hill resulted in the construction of a new station further north at Edge Hill at the tunnel portal. Both Crown Street and the old station then became goods stations. Crown Street was used as a coal and agricultural goods terminal. The new station was opened in 1836. Trains descended to Lime Street by gravity, being rope-hauled by a winding engine back up to Edge Hill. However, this practice soon became redundant.