From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
The Port of Liverpool is the enclosed 7.5 miles (12.1 km) dock system that runs from Brunswick Dock in Liverpool to Seaforth Dock, Seaforth, on the east side of the River Mersey and the Birkenhead Docks between Birkenhead and Wallasey on the west side of the river. Garston Docks, which are in the city of Liverpool, are not a part of the Port of Liverpool.
Liverpool's first dock was the Old Dock built in 1715. The old Pool was converted into the enclosed dock. The dock was the world's first enclosed commercial dock. Further docks were added and eventually all were interconnected by lock gates, extending 7.5 miles (12.1 km) along the Liverpool bank of the River Mersey.
The interconnected dock system was the most advanced port system in the world. The docks enabled ship movements within the dock system 24 hours a day, isolated from the high River Mersey tides. Parts of the system are now a World Heritage Site.
Most of the smaller south end docks were closed in 1971 with Brunswick Dock remaining until closure in 1975. Many docks have been filled in to create land for buildings at the Pier Head, an arena at Kings Dock, commercial estates at Toxteth and Harrington Docks and housing at Herculaneum Dock. Other branch docks have been filled in, in the north end with a sewage processing plant being built at Sandon Dock.
The largest dock on the dock network, Seaforth Dock, was opened in 1972 dealing with grain and containers, accommodating the largest containers ships of the time.
Both White Star Line and Cunard Line were based at the port. It was also the home port of many great ships, including RMS Baltic and the ill starred Tayleur, MV Derbyshire, HMHS Britannic, RMS Lusitania and the RMS Titanic.
In 1972 Canadian Pacific were the last transatlantic line to operate from Liverpool.
In 2010 Liverpool was the United Kingdom's seventh largest port by tonnage handled.
|Grain||2,289,000 tonnes||2,377,000 tonnes||2,360,000 tonnes||2,455,000 tonnes|
|Timber||295,000 tonnes||391,000 tonnes||406,000 tonnes||452,000 tonnes|
|Bulk liquids||774,000 tonnes||727,000 tonnes||788,000 tonnes||707,000 tonnes|
|Bulk cargo||6,051,000 tonnes||6,296,000 tonnes||5,572,000 tonnes||5,026,000 tonnes|
|Oil Terminal||11,406,000 tonnes||11,406,000 tonnes||11,604,000 tonnes||11,236,000 tonnes|
|General cargo||374,000 tonnes||556,000 tonnes||468,000 tonnes||514,000 tonnes|
|Total||32,171,000 tonnes||31,753,000 tonnes||30,564,000 tonnes||30,501,000 tonnes|
Cruise liners have operated from the port with a terminal at Langton Dock. Cruise liners returned to Liverpool's Pier Head in 2008, berthing at a newly constructed cruise liner terminal. In 2011 proposals to use the terminal for the start and end of voyages, rather than as a stop-off point, led to a dispute with Southampton due to the large public subsidy provided for the new terminal.
Ships which have called at Liverpool include RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) Grand Princess from Bermuda and the RMS Queen Mary 2, along with a number of large Royal Navy vessels. As well as being a calling point, cruises also depart from Liverpool's Langton Dock.
Liverpool is one of the few cities in the world where ocean-going liners can berth in the city centre, providing a spectacular addition to the waterfront skyline.
At one point the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company freight railway totalled 104 miles (166 km) of rail line, with connections to many other railways. A section of freight rail line ran under the Liverpool Overhead passenger railway, with trains constantly crossing the Dock Road from the docks into the freight terminals. Today, only the Canada Dock branch line is used to serve the docks, using diesel locomotives.
The first rail link to the docks was the construction of the 1830 Park Lane railway goods station opposite the Queens Dock in the south of the city. The terminal was accessed via the 1.26 miles (2.03 km) Wapping Tunnel from Edge Hill rail junction in the east of the city. The station was demolished in 1972. The tunnel is still intact.
Until 1971 Liverpool Riverside railway station served the liner terminal at the Pier Head. Today, for passengers disembarking from the new cruise liner terminal, city centre circular buses call at the terminal directly, while Moorfields and James Street are the nearest Merseyrail stations.