Liverpool Lime Street station fully reopened today (23 October) after Network Rail completed a 23-day transformation of Merseyside’s main station, a key part of the Great North Rail Project.
Engineers replaced almost 2,000m of track, redesigned and lengthened platforms and built two new ones (platforms 7 and 8) all of which will help provide passengers with more seats on more trains in and out of the city.
The work will continue next year and, from 2019, will enable an extra three services per hour in and out of Lime Street station, including new direct services to Scotland. Longer, better managed platforms will accommodate longer trains, helping to provide more space and seats for passengers.
Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “The Government is committed to improving rail journeys across the north of England and passengers are now a step closer to having a better Liverpool Lime Street station with new platforms and space for longer trains.
“I would like to thank passengers for their patience during these engineering works, which are part of more than £1 billion of rail infrastructure upgrades across the region.”
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s London North Western route managing director, said: “Millions of pounds are being invested in the railway in the Liverpool City Region which is vital to boost the local economy and transform train travel for passengers.
“As part of our Great North Rail Project, the Liverpool Lime Street project will enable faster, more frequent and reliable train services to run in and out of the station by 2019.
“This work brings us one step closer to fulfil our aim of running hundreds more trains each day - more trains with more seats, running more quickly and reliably across the north of England.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “I look forward to next year when we will see the completion of this project which is a pivotal part of our ambitious plans to build a better railway for everyone.
“Alongside this we’ll be continuing to make the case for the north to get the infrastructure commitment and funding it deserves, not least full high-speed rail connections west-east, joining up north-south HS2 infrastructure with Northern Powerhouse Rail into Liverpool.”
Chris Nutton, major projects director at TransPennine Express, said on behalf of all operators using Liverpool Lime Street station: “The first phase of works are now complete, and I’m delighted that the joint plan that we put in place went well, allowing our customers to keep moving in and out of the city during these crucial works.
“Everyone is looking forward to seeing the completion of these works next year, which for TransPennine Express will mean that we can run longer trains with more carriages into the station, meaning more seats for customers. It will also enable us to introduce a brand new direct service from Liverpool to Glasgow in December 2018.”
Frank Rogers, chief executive at Merseytravel, said: “Months of planning has paid off and the Liverpool City Region remained ‘open for business’ during this essential upgrade works. I want to thank customers, both local and from further afield, for their patience and for playing their part by planning ahead and taking on board all the travel information provided.
“We will continue to work with Network Rail and partners and focus on the next phase of this transformational project and will continue to keep passengers up to date with relevant information at key times.”
Andy Heath, Merseyrail's deputy managing director, said: “Over the last three weeks, Merseyrail has played a vital supporting role in this project, transporting thousands of passengers, many of whom are not regular users of our network, between Liverpool South Parkway and the centre of town. We are delighted to contribute to this essential programme of work, which will help ensure the continued success of the regional economy.”
Further work is planned over Christmas 2017 and summer 2018 which will include further signalling upgrades, including transferring the operation of the railway to a purpose-built, modern signalling centre in Manchester.
For more information on the Liverpool Lime Street upgrade visit www.networkrail.co.uk/lcr