News from 1895: The Prince's Landing Stage


Mark Baber

Staff member
The Sun, New York, 14 May 1895
Original article digitized by the New York Public Library
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,

The Old-time Delay and Inconvenience Finally Done Away With
The improvements in landing facilities for American passengers at Liverpool
which the Dock Board of that city undertook after the scare the Liverpool
folk got over the sudden success of the Southampton route, are expected to
be practically completed this week. The two principal discomforts and
inconveniences of the Liverpool landing have been the transfer by tender
from the ship to the shore and the cab drive across the city from the
landing stage to the railway station. Both these are removed by the new
arrangement. The liners will steam up the river directly alongside the
landing stage at any state of the tide, and without any of the tedious
warping-in process that eats up an hour or more at this port, and the
landing stage, Custom House and railway station will be under one roof.
Fifty yards will take the passenger from the ship through the Custom House
to his seat in the train.

The Liverpool landing stage is the largest and most remarkable structure of
its kind in the world. It is 2,063 feet long and 80 feet broad and
undoubtedly is the finest marine promenade in existence. It is to be
lengthened several hundred feet in the completing of the scheme of
improvements. It is constructed of iron pontoons, welded together and decked
over with an iron platform, with an outer sheathing of teak timbers, like
the deck of a ship. It is moored at a distance of about a hundred feet from
the dock wall, with which it is connected by a number of covered bridges for
foot passengers, and an immense floating bridge, 550 feet long and 35 feet
wide, for vehicular traffic. This latter bridge floats in a long chute built
back into the plaza at the pier head. The stage floats up and down with the
tide, and it is but little disturbed by the rough gales that frequently make
the Mersey a miniature Channel. On it are ticket offices for the ferryboats,
offices for various officials, a Post Office, restaurants, and a variety of
buildings. At this stage land all the various Mersey ferries, slips on the
New York plan being impracticable because of the big tides and strong

Formerly only boats of comparatively small draught, the largest being the
Irish boats, could come alongside the stage. All ocean steamers had to lie
off the stage a quarter or half a mile, and the passengers were transferred
in tugs. For some months dredging has been going on at the north end, or
Prince's stage, and it was expected that by this week there would be
sufficient depth of water for the largest ships, even the Campania and
Teutonic, to lie alongside at any state of the tide.

On the dock wall alongside the stage a railway station of ample size is just
being finished. The Custom House examining rooms have been built over the
river space between the stage and sea wall, and form a connecting building
between the stage and the station. As at present arranged, the station has
two platforms and two tracks, but there is ample room for its being made
larger if desired. It is even proposed to fill in the old Prince's Dock
alongside the new station, if enough space cannot otherwise be had. From
this new station tracks have been laid along the side of the docks for about
half a mile northward to Waterloo station, the big freight depot of the L.
and N. W. Railway, where connection is made with the main line tracks. Other
tracks are to be laid along the dock walls for about a mile and a half
southward to the Brunswick dock station of the Midland Railway, where direct
connection will be had with the Midland route.