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The once-busy goods facilities, carriage sidings and engine servicing facilities have all been swept away and replaced by a shopping mall and car park.However, despite the road congestion and a draconian parking regime, most visitors to Southport arrive by car no doubt due to the uncomfortable and overcrowded two-coach trains regularly used on the Southport-?Click here to visit Barry Hilton's 'Rail Cameraman' page featuring 'Railways Around Rochdale'.One of the greatest railway photographers of his generation is ER Morten, whose classic shots of Southport in 1939 are a poignant reminder of vintage steam days at the once-thriving Lancashire seaside resort.The rest was made up of service engines and Departmental locos.In 1948, six new BR Regions were formed, their new boundaries corresponding closely to the lines of the former 'Big Four' railway companies.Amongst Trevor's evocative photos is the one below shows 'Black 5' No 44876 after arrival at Carlisle w(Above-Below) 'Jubilee' class No 45580 'Burma' has just departed from Rochdale on the 4.35pm Rochdale-Blackpool Central express, the so called 'Residential'. To the right of the engine the edge of the carriage shed can be seen with old coach bodies serving as mess huts and stores.The smaller one could be either Midland or even L&Y.

This code was allocated to Southport shed from 1935 to 10th June 1950, at which time the ex-L&YR shed had shedcode changed to 27C from June 1950 to 9th September 1963 and then it became 8P, a sub-shed of Liverpool Edge Hill.(Below) This ER Morten shot was taken in the opposite direction from above, using the footbridge spanning the lines serving Chapel Street station as a vantage point; it shows the once-busy carriage sidings in October 1953…a graphic reminder of the copious coaching stock required to facilitate the influx of rail visitors to the resort.In the middle distance just beyond the excursion platform is the old steam shed (27C) later to become the base for Steamport, but the site was subsequently flattened to make way for the present day Central 12 shopping complex.Following closure of Steamport all operations moved to the Ribble Steam Railway at Preston The stunning images from the NMSI collection show the quality of poster art commissioned by the former 'Big Four' railway companies and later British Railways.The NMSI family is comprised of four award-winning museums, each with their own diverse identity: the Science Museum, the National Media Museum and, of course, the National Railway Museum (NRM) at York which houses the world's pre-eminent railway collection.

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