Park’s rail heritage marked

A Liverpool park, which was the site of an important part of railway history, has been given new signs to mark its heritage.

Crown Street Park was created on the site of the terminus for the world’s first passenger railway service.

The Crown Street station opened in September 1830 and was the western terminus for the service to Manchester – which could be regarded as the first inter-city service – with trains being pulled by Stephenson’s Rocket, made famous at the Rainhill Trials the previous year

However, the growth of the railway traffic was so rapid that it was too small and far from the city centre to cope with demand. Furthermore, steam locomotives could only get as far as Edge Hill, as they could not cope with the gradients out of Liverpool, so a cable pulled the carriages the last part of their journey to the station and also goods up from the docks.

Crown Street closed to passenger trains in August 1836 to be replaced by Lime Street Station.It remained as a goods and coal depot until 1972.

The recreation ground which replaced the former coal depot provides valued outdoor space in the inner-city, with the green space being enhanced with a playground and outdoor gym equipment.

Its proximity to Liverpool Women’s Hospital and Liverpool University means it also provides a commuting route for pedestrians and cyclists and is popular with students as well as the coal community.

Although the brick ventilation shaft for the Wapping Tunnel, which runs under the park, still remains as a local landmark, there has been nothing until now to let park users and passers-by know about the part this site played in railway history and the industrial revolution.

New signs, however, have been installed around the park which says that it was the site of the first passenger rail service terminus.

Local Councillor Tim Beaumont said: “This is a small way to recognise that this park is on the site of the birthplace of passenger railway transport and it is something that I think the local community should be very proud of. It is an important part of the city’s heritage.”