Alexandra Dock opened with the line as ‘Atlantic Dock’ on 5 September 1881. The dock after which the station was named was going to be called Atlantic Dock by the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board (MD&HB). A few days before it was due to have its official opening the MD&HB decided to rename it Alexandra Dock after HRH Princess Alexandra. The LNWR followed their lead renaming the passenger and goods station on 10 September 1881.
Alexandra Dock passenger station was located to the south of the goods station. It was on the east side of Regent Road which was part of the main dock road that paralleled the Liverpool dock system. The station was provided with a single-storey brick building. A long single platform to its rear was within a trainshed for almost its entire length. Between the passenger and the goods stations a line exited onto Regent Road, crossing it and curving north to connect with the MD&HB railway. To the south of the passenger station there was a goods yard. At the east end of the platform an LNWR type 4 signal box with a 45 lever frame controlled traffic movements into both the goods and passenger stations.
Looking east along the platform at Alexandra Dock station in the 1930s.
Looking west at Alexandra Dock station in 1959.
From the start the passenger service ran between Alexandra Dock and Liverpool Lime Street calling at all intermediate stations. The service was well used as it provided a valuable link between the docks and the rapidly developing suburban areas of Liverpool. This service was interspersed between Canada Dock - Liverpool Lime Street trains; the services between the city centre and the two dockland termini had a similar frequency.
On 6 March 1893 the Liverpool Overhead Railway (LOR) opened an elevated electric line between Herculaneum Dock (at the southern end of the dock system) and Alexandra Dock. The LOR opened a station on the opposite side of Regent Road and a short distance north of the LNWR’s Alexandra Dock station. The LOR ran right by the commercial centre of Liverpool and offered a far more direct route than the LNWR line. The LOR was extended further north to Seaforth Sands on 30 April 1894.
On 1 January 1923 Alexandra Dock became part of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS). By summer 1932 the majority of trains running between Liverpool and the Bootle branch were operating to Alexandra Dock, leaving only a handful to serve Canada Dock. There were thirteen arrivals and eleven departures Monday-to-Friday with one less arrival on Saturdays.
The passenger service remained much the same throughout the 1930s. During the Second World War the Liverpool dock system was extremely busy. It was also in the direct line of fire. The first bombs fell on 4 August 1940 and the last on 10 January 1942. May 1941 was a particularly bad month. Alexandra Dock goods station was severely damaged during the bombing but traffic was able to continue running. Nearby Canada Dock was so badly damaged that the passenger service was withdrawn on 5 May 1941 leaving only the Alexandra Dock and Liverpool Line Street service.
After the war the service never recovered the LMS Summer 1947 timetable showing six departures Monday-to-Friday only five of which went forward to Lime Street (one terminated at Edge Lane. There were five arrivals and no trains ran on Saturdays or Sundays
On 1 January 1948 the station became part of British Railways (London Midland Region). British Railways withdrew the passenger service between Alexandra Dock and Liverpool Lime Street on 31 May 1948. It saw passengers once again on 6 June 1959 when the Merseyside railtour visited. It hosted another railtour, the Liverpool Suburban on 13 June 1964.
Alexandra Dock station looking west from Derby Road on 13 June 1964 during a visit by the
Liverpool Suburban railtour. The former passenger station is to the right of the train.
The passenger station survived intact until the late 1960s. The goods station (which was rebuilt in a simpler form after the war) continued to handle traffic until 1988. By the mid 1990s there was only a single track at Alexandra Dock that connected to the MD&HB lines. The line between Alexandra Dock and the MD&HB system had fallen out of use by the mid 1970s but was brought back into use in 1980 to serve the Seaforth container terminal. In the second half of the 1980s coal traffic also began to run on the line and this was followed by other traffic flows. The line up to Regent Road was re-doubled in the late 1990s and in 2013 was a very busy stretch of freight railway. Nothing remains of the original passenger station.