Stanlow and Thornton railway station


Stanlow and Thornton railway station

Infobox UK station
name = Stanlow and Thornton
code = SNT


manager = Northern Rail
locale = Stanlow
borough = Ellesmere Port and Neston
lowusage0405 = 40
lowusage0506 = 130
lowusage0607 = 326
platforms = 2
years = 23 December 1940
events = Opened

The unstaffed rail station at Stanlow & Thornton is located within the Stanlow Shell oil refinery in Cheshire, England.

The UK OS Grid Reference is SJ441760.

It lies on Northern Rail's line between Ellesmere Port and Helsby. The station is surrounded by the refinery site, so as a result most station users are refinery employees. [cite web|url=http://www.ukstation.com/north-west-england/map/stanlow-and-thornton-station.htm|title=Stanlow railway station map|accessdate=2008-05-03]

A rail user group, the Merseyside & Cheshire Railways Campaign, known as MCRC, supports and actively campaigns for an improved service at this station and for this railway line, [citeweb|url=http://www.mcrc.co.nr |title=Merseyside & Cheshire Railways Campaign|accessdate=2008-08-09] , as well as the North Cheshire Rail User Group. [citeweb|url=http://www.ncrug.org.uk/ |title=North Cheshire Rail User Group|accessdate=2008-08-09]

There is no ticket office, so passengers buy tickets from a conductor on board the train. [cite web|url=http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/snt/details.html#Fares|title=Stanlow & Thornton: Ticketing options available.|work=National Rail|accessdate=2008-05-03] Station usage statistics for 2004-5 showed 40 passengers using the station, less than one per week. [cite web|url=http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/xls/station_usage_2005-06.xls|title=Station Usage Statistics (MS Excel)|accessdate=2008-05-03] Passenger numbers began to increase at the station in 2005-6, with 130 people using it in 2005-06. This rose sharply to 326 in 2006-2007, despite the same rail services being operated.

Services

Four trains a day call here in each direction (towards Helsby and Ellesmere Port). One of these trains each evening continues to Liverpool Lime Street via Warrington Bank Quay.

The Saturday service is effectively the same as the Monday - Friday equivalent, except that early morning services terminate at Helsby, not Warrington.

There is no service on Sundays. A Saturday service operates on most Bank Holidays.

In British Rail terminology, this station's rail service(s) would be referred to as a Parliamentary train. This means that the Train Operating Company only runs the minimum number of services required legally, and usually at the least busy times of day, in order to still comply with the law, but to keep operating costs down to an absolute minimum.

Facilities

At this station there are covered shelters, with three metal seats on either platform. There is a payphone located on the Helsby platform, [citeweb|url=http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/snt/details.html#Station_Facilities |title=Stanlow & Thornton: Station Facilities|work=National Rail|accessdate=2008-08-09] but only accepts phonecards from British Telecom.

A gently rising footpath leads from the road to a flight of 48 steps with 2 rest landings and a handrail onto a footbridge. From the footbridge to the left, the first flight of 30 steps with rest landing and handrail lead to the Helsby platform, and the second flight of 30 steps with rest landing and handrail lead to the Ellesmere Port platform. The station is definitely not accessible for people with preventative mobility problems. [citeweb|url=http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/snt/details.html#Accessibility |title=Stanlow & Thornton: Accessibility|work=National Rail|accessdate=2008-08-09]

The booking office is still standing at the Ellesmere Port platform, (number 1), but has been closed for some time. It now houses the electrics for the station and is boarded up.

Although not controlled by Northern Rail, the station does have CCTV monitored by the security services at the Shell oil refinery.

There is limited car parking at the entrance of the station.

Public Transport Interchange

Oil Sites Road, which is a private road owned by Shell, is now closed to the public. Shell cited increased commercial traffic to its refinery and the amount of public vehicles using the road, recklessly in some cases, as reasons for closure. [citeweb|url=http://iccheshireonline.icnetwork.co.uk/ellesmereport/news/2008/03/12/road-shut-to-public-50020-20608935/ |title=Road shut to public|work=Ellesmere Port Pioneer|publisher=icCheshireOnline|date=2008-03-12] Only vehicles and their occupants that have business at the refinery are now permitted to use the road.

The station is located on Oil Sites Road. Although it is theoretically accessible by foot, it involves a long walk from either Ellesmere Port, Ince or Elton. There are no bus or taxi services at this station due to the access restrictions.

Previously the road also allowed quick access to the villages of Elton or Ince from Ellesmere Port.

History

The station was opened on 23 December 1940 jointly by the Great Western Railway and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.Butt (1995).]

A short distance from the station was a signal box. This controlled all of the sidings used for freight. Shell stopped using rail as a method of transportation of goods, and subsequently, the sidings were removed. Eventually, the signal box was dismantled and donated to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. [citeweb|url=http://www.embsayboltonabbeyrailway.org.uk/archive06.html |title=Archived News: Stanlow & Thornton|work=Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway|accessdate=2008-08-09] Today, the signals for this line and station are controlled at Helsby and Ellesmere Port signal boxes, operated by Network Rail.

The station was originally earmarked for closure under what is known today as the Beeching Axe, a report created by Dr. Beeching entitled "The Reshaping of Britain's railways". This was basically a report commissioned by the government to find out how money could be saved, as use of the railways began to decline. [citeweb|url=http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/documents/BRB_Beech001a.pdf |title=The Reshaping of Britain's railways (PDF file)|accessdate=2008-08-09]

References

Notes

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External links

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