Station Name: CLOCK FACE

[Source: Paul Wright]

Date opened: November 1856 (first appeared in timetable)
Location: South of the junction of Clock Face Road and Gartons Lane.
Company on opening: St. Helens Canal & Railway Company
Date closed to passengers: 18.6.1951
Date closed completely: 18.6.1951
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: Demolished, cutting filled in and houses built on the site of the 'up' platform.
County: Lancashire
OS Grid Ref: SJ528915
Date of visit: 28.5.2005

Notes: Opened by the St Helens Canal & Railway Company (SHC&RC) Clock Face was situated on the Widnes and St Helen's line which had originally opened throughout on 21 February 1833 as the St Helens & Runcorn Gap Railway. Built primarily for the movement of coal from the St Helens coalfield to a dock on the River Mersey (Widnes Dock) at the Runcorn Gap the line did carry passengers from its first year of operation, but there were no intermediate stations between the dock and St Helens.

Clock Face station first appeared in the public timetable in November 1856. It was located at the point where Clock Face Road crossed over the railway. The ‘up’ (St Helens direction) platform was on the south side of the road overbridge in a cutting. A single-storey brick building which provided the booking facilities stood on the platform. The ‘down’ (Widnes direction) platform was located on the north side of the road overbridge; it had only a simple waiting shelter.

Clock Face station would have been served by trains running between St Helens and Garston and between St Helens and Warrington via Runcorn Gap (Widnes).

On 31 July 1864 the SC&RC was taken over by the London & North Western Railway (LNWR).

On 1 November 1911 the LNWR introduced a rail-motor onto the Ditton – St Helens service. It was given the nickname of the ‘Ditton Dodger’. At the railway Grouping on 1 January 1923 the LNWR was absorbed into the London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS).

At the start of the Second World War passenger services were reduced to just a handful of trains and after saw the war the service was not restored to its previous levels. On 1 January 1948 Clock Face became part of British Railways London Midland Region. In 1951 British Railways proposed the withdrawal of the Ditton Dodger service and complete closure of Clock Face. Despite local opposition the service was withdrawn on 18 June 1951. The station was demolished shortly after.

The line closed as a through route on 1 November 1981 but trains continued to pass through the site of Clock Face serving Sutton Manor Colliery. However, following the 1984-5 miners’ strike, Sutton Manor Colliery closed, and the last train ran on 15 August 1987. The line from Sutton Oak to Sutton Manor was taken out of use on 10 October 1987 and was lifted by the end of 1989.

The cutting in which the down platform was located was filled in in 1990 and in 2000 further infilling occured at the up platform cutting. In 2011 houses were built on the site of the up platform.

Tickets from Michael Stewart, Bradshaw from Nick Catford and route map by Alan Young


  • Industrial Railways of St Helens, Widnes and Warrington - Part 2 St Helens Coalfield and the Sandfields - C H A Townley & J A Peden - Industrial Railway Society 2002
  • The St Helens Railway, Its Rivals and Successors – J M Tolston – The Oakwood Press 1982
  • The Widnes to St Helens Railway in Halton 1833 - 1982 - P T Wright - Halton Borough Council 2008

To see a detailed history of Clock Face station click here

To see the other stations on Widnes - St. Helens line click on the station name: Runcorn Gap, Ann Street, Appleton, Farnworth & Bold, Union Bank Farm Halt, Sutton Oak, Peasley Cross, St Helens 1st, St Helens 2nd &
St Helens 3rd

See Also

Clock Face Colliery

See also:
Widnes 1st, Widnes South, Ditton

Clock Face station looking north in the late 1940's. The photo shows the up platform which was on the south side of the Clock Face Road overbridge. The main station facilities were located on this platform. The down platform was on the other side of the bridge.

Clock Face station shown on a 25-inch scale map from 1925. The staggered arangement of the platforms is clearly shown.

The Clock Face station 'down' platform (Widnes direction) as seen looking south from a passing train circa 1950. Only a simple waiting shelter was provided on the down platform.

Looking north at the site of the 'down' platform (Widnes direction) at Clock Face station on 2 January 1982. The platform had been to the right. The Widnes - St Helens line had closed as a through route by this time but trains serving Sutton Manor colliery were still running through Clock Face.
Photo by John Mann

Looking south towards Widnes in July 2012 from a point that would have been towards the northern end of the 'down' platform at Clock Face. The cutting at this point was in filled in 2000.
Photo by Terry Callaghan

To see more photos click here




[Source: Paul Wright]

Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Mar-2022 20:40:14 CET
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