Featured Links  



Along the Whiston Incline



This Article is:

a collection of photographs covering a short stretch of the Liverpool to Manchester railway line starting at Whiston along the Whiston Incline to Rainhill station.

With additional sections for the Locomotive Trials Exhibition in Rainhill and also the Huskinson Memorial, Parkside.


An early print by T.T. Bury, published in 1831 by R Ackermann.


These photographs were taken from the footbridge that crosses the line between Platt’s Bridge, Pottery Lane and Ropers Bridge Dragon Lane, looking towards Roper’s Bridge, in the direction of Rainhill (Liverpool to Manchester.


Ropers Bridge 

A delivery of coal on its way to Fiddlers Ferry Power Station.


From the same footbridge, looking towards Platt’s Bridge, Pottery Lane in the direction of Huyton with Roby. (Manchester to Liverpool)


 Whiston Railway Station 

 Whiston Station taken from Roper's Bridge, towards Rainhill Railway Station (Liverpool - Manchester)


Whiston Station


Cumber Lane road bridge in the distance.


To Huyton Railway Station (Manchester - Liverpool)

Roper's Bridge in view.



Ropers Bridge.

Ropers Bridge, Dragon Lane Whiston is designated at grade II.

The bridge is one of the earliest bridges of the railway age, designed and built by George Stephenson about 1829 on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway Line, which is widely regarded as the earliest locomotive passenger line in the world

Despite some minor stonework replacement, the bridge is well preserved and in good condition with no evidence of widening. Architectural interest is enhanced by the angled design and the incorporation of rusticated stonework.

The bridge has strong group value with the nearby *Skew Bridge, Rainhill and the old *Railway Bridge, Pilch Lane, Huyton with Roby, also listed at Grade II. Together the bridges form an important contemporary and similarly designed group of angled bridges designed by George Stephenson as significant representative elements of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway Line and the early development of the British railway network.


Towards the bridge from Whiston village.


Off the bridge towards Whiston Village 


Off the bridge away from the village. 


Towards the village, 



The East Portal 



The West Portal 



Another local bridge on the line, Huyton Hey Road (Lyons) Underline Bridge.


 and the Hey Road portal


RAINHILL Skew Bridge and Station

This is at the top of the Whiston Incline by Stoney Lane bridge. The cutting here was widened to accommodate sidings where assisting locomotives could be detached from ascending trains and added to those descending the incline.

Originally, it was thought that steam locomotives would not be able to climb the incline without the assistance of rope haulage and work began on the construction of a line-side winding engine. The success of the Rocket at the Rainhill Trials eliminated the need for this winding engine and another that was planned at Sutton, so they were never completed.

This is the base just over Stoney Lane bridge.


Rainhill Skew Bridge, a Grade II listed structure, is the most acute of 15 such bridges on the line, built at an angle of 34 degrees to the railway. Work on the construction began towards the edge of 1828. A full-size model was set up in an adjacent field and stone blocks, some weighing over two tons, were cut, dressed and numbered in advance, each being individually shaped to fit its exact position.


The bridge was then constructed and the Warrington to Prescot Turnpike (now the A57), raised by inclined embankments, to pass over it. An inscription carved below the parapet on the eastern side, records the date of completion – June 1829.

 The inscription in the bridge naming the Chairman of the railway and the resident engineer. 

Photo by Terry Callaghan. (21st February 2013) of the 8D Association.


The famous Skew bridge at the west end of the station.

Photo by Terry Callaghan. (21st February 2013) of the 8D Association.


 Rainhill Station is a grade II listed building. It is one of the oldest stations in the world, opening a year after the Trials in 1830. The first record of substantial buildings at Rainhill were mentioned in a Board instruction to erect "a large waiting room" in 1841, although the present building is much more than that. Under the amalgamation of 1846, the LMR and the Grand Junction Railway became part of the LNWR's Northern Division, with the station design at Rainhill closely aligned to GJR practice. The long, two-storey hipped-roof building has a pitched wrap-round canopy supported by arcades of segmental open cast-iron beams and highly decorated brackets between wooden posts. The building is formed from brick, with fluted stone door and window casing giving a delicate touch. It has a latticed iron footbridge and a standard wooden LNWR signal box on a brick base (1899)

Rainhill Station







 This is a public footbridge taking pedestrians over the railway line, outside of the station.  













Rainhill Trials Exhibition

The Exhibition is housed in a BR MK 1 coach that was in its original livery on delivery. It sits on its own rails in the grounds of Rainhill Library and was specially converted and connected to the library with a permanent link entrance. Below are the changes to its livery since being delivered. 






Repainted by Northern to the current pseudo Liverpool and Manchester yellow livery.







 The exhibition contains extracts from accounts of the Locomotive Trials, including drawings and sketches, contemporary views of the Railway at the time of its opening, scale models and dioramas, reproductions of prints depicting early locomotives, original relics, scenes from Liverpool & Manchester Railway as they are today, photographs of the Steam Cavalcade during the “Rocket 150” celebrations of 1980 and the story of how the coach itself was transported to Rainhill.

Inside the coach.




Plan and section of the Liverpool Manchester Railway from Henry Booth's Description of the Railway in 1830.


 Actual wrought iron chairs from G Stephenson's original rail of 1829.


This is an original Liverpool and Manchester wagon or coach axle box, the date on the casting is 1839 and suggests  it is an early example.

The leaf spring is wood and shows how it would have fitted to the rest of the chassis.

Unearthed early in the last century apparently, when foundations were being dug out at the site of the carriage and wagon works in Earlestown.  


This is an original cylinder off the loco Novelty





Rainhill an 0-2-2 Rocket type loco in 3½ inch gauge, by LBSC.

Slip eccentric valve gear, not one of the earliest Rockets, but certainly one of the most successful and used on the old Liverpool and Manchester Railway


Three locomotives, “Rocket”, “Novelty” and “Sans Pareil” competed for a prize of £500 over a period of 9 days to determine which was capable of hauling trains on the newly-constructed Railway. 

As you can see the models as many other exhibition are in glass cases, this causes mirror images when photographed

The Rocket


Sans Pareil 



The Novelty 


Remains of the Rocket as preserved in the Science Museum, London.


A modern day replica. 


 The Huskisson Memorial, Parkside

The memorial was erected as a “tribute of respect”, following the death of the Right Honourable William Huskisson, MP for Liverpool, who was killed at Parkside on the opening day of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, 15 September, 1830. 

The central tablet was badly damaged in 1990 and was subsequently replaced by a new marble plaque, funded by Railtrack North West, the Railway Heritage Trust and the Newton 21 Partnership. 

The Memorial is a Grade II listed structure. The original tablet is now in the care of the National Railway Museum, York.




 Published 29/01/2016

To return to Railways click the totem


Home Page