Inside the improved Liverpool Lime Street station.(Network Rail Image)
• track, platform and signalling improvements
• paving the way for bigger, better trains with more seats for more customers in future
• part of the wider Great North Rail Project
• part of #StationsDay – celebrating the £5.2billion investment to regenerate Britain’s rail stations
The £140m transformation of Liverpool Lime Street has been completed with the full reopening of all ten of the station’s platforms.
Liverpool Lime Street’s upgrade was part of the Great North Rail Project – a rail industry team effort to transform train travel for customers across the North through track and train improvements.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling got a bird’s eye view today (15 October) of the new-look Lime Street when he joined rail industry partners on the station roof.
From his elevated vantage point Mr Grayling saw the track, platform and signalling improvements completed on time and on budget by Network Rail over the past 18 months.
One of Northern’s brand new, state of the art trains was also held in the station for the event. Due to start entering service by the end of the year, this is part of a £500m investment in a fleet of 98 new trains and the retirement of the old ‘Pacer’ train.
The reopening coincides with the first ever #StationsDay, which celebrates the £5.2billion investment to regenerate Britain’s rail stations as part of the rail industry’s long-term plan to change and improve.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP, said:
“When Concourse House was demolished it opened up Lime Street’s Grade II façade to the city again, and made it a much more fitting neighbour for the magnificent St George’s Hall and the other historic buildings of Liverpool’s World Heritage site.
“Now these improvements mean the interior of the station matches the exterior. Work on the platforms, tracks and signalling equipment of the station will deliver longer trains, more reliable services, more seats and faster journeys.
“Working closely with Network Rail and train operators, they will ensure people see significant benefits from the £1bn Great North Rail Project. They are part of the government’s determination to put better journeys for passengers at the heart of everything we do. “
Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said:
“Liverpool Lime Street’s £140m Great North Rail Project transformation is fully complete.
“This major upgrade is essential to ensure this flagship station can cater for the forecast growth in peak-time travellers over the coming decades.
“This is part of our commitment to support future economic growth across the north of England. More, longer, better-managed platforms together with the station’s brand-new, state-of-the-art signalling system will enable us to run longer trains, with more space and more seats more reliably.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to passengers for their patience while we delivered Lime Street’s biggest upgrade since the 19th century.”
Robert Nisbet, regional director of the Rail Delivery Group which represents the rail industry, said:
“Today we celebrate the opening of Liverpool Lime Street which is one of hundreds of stations being improved over the next couple of years. These places are the beating hearts of our railways and the communities they serve.
“As part of our long-term plan, the rail industry is working together to deliver unprecedented improvements to make stations like Liverpool Lime Street better and secure economic growth by ensuring more and longer services can run in future.”
Chris Nutton, major projects director at TransPennine Express, said:
“The completion of the upgrade at Liverpool Lime Street is truly excellent news for customers and will allow for longer trains with extra carriages and more seats.
“Over the next twelve months, we will introduce our brand new Nova fleets and customers in the North West will soon be travelling on some of the newest trains in the country.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“Lime Street station is a vital cog in our transport network and this major upgrade is important not just for individual passengers but for the economy of the whole city region.
“There is clearly much more to be done to improve our transport infrastructure across the North as a whole but this is a very welcome first step.”
Yesterday (14 October) saw the completion of the final stage of the work to bring the newly extended platform 1 into passenger use. The platform, originally numbered platform 2, has been extended by 60m, from 160m to 220m in length to accommodate longer trains, with more seats for more passengers.
Platforms across the station have been completely remodelled. Two brand new platforms have been built and are in use, and all others remodelled, widened and/or lengthened. This has been vital to boost much-needed capacity within the historic grade II listed station building.
An extensive signalling upgrade has also been completed to allow more trains to run in and out of the station, more reliably. Signalling control was successfully moved over to centrally-operated Manchester Rail Operating Centre in July. This means more reliable journeys for passengers, allowing faster decision making on the railway to minimise delays.
The majority of the work was delivered over two key phases, one taking place 30 September – 22 October 2017 and the other this summer, 2 June – 30 July 2018.