On Track for Station Improvements

Liverpool Lime Street station is about to undergo it’s biggest upgrade since the 19th century. In order to allow engineers to carry out essential upgrades on track and overhead power lines certain disruptions and closures will be put in place over 2 phases.



The Liverpool Lime Street Station Improvement Programme is part of the £340m investment in railway infrastructure across the Liverpool City Region between 2016 and 2019. The programme aims to improve facilities and increase connectivity across the region and the country.

This investment will:

  • Increase the number of services per hour into Lime Street – from 2019 this will include a regular direct service to Scotland
  • Reinvigorate Lime Street Station– with an improved concourse offer and additional wider, safer platforms
  • Re-signal the West Coast Main Line to the Manchester Rail Operating Centre providing  a quicker response to signalling and issues on the network
  • Support the economic growth ambitions of the city region bringing jobs and investment to the city
  • Create and redevelop stations to provide additional facilities for growing numbers of rail passengers
  • Support the introduction of new trains on the Merseyrail network


Liverpool Lime Station Improvement Programme

One of the major schemes within this programme is the resignalling and improvement of Liverpool Lime Street Station, the main terminus station serving the Liverpool City Region, linking us, by rail, to the rest of England, Scotland and Wales. This is the first major upgrade of the station since the 19th century and will include:

  • Rebuilding and remodelling station platforms.
  • Renewal of track
  • Installation of overhead line equipment.
  • Signalling upgrades.
  • Some concourse improvements including provision of new retail units

The programme is being undertaken because passenger numbers are growing, by 2043 it is forecast that the number of commuters alone entering the city through Lime Street will have doubled. With longer, better managed platforms the station will have more space for more passengers and enable faster, more frequent, more reliable services from 2019.

The programme will create an improved rail network able to cope with longer and faster trains; more reliable railway infrastructure; better facilities for passengers; increased capacity/additional services (including direct services to Scotland from 2019); infrastructure that supports economic growth – getting more people to work, education and leisure opportunities quickly and efficiently.
As you may envisage this work is significant in scale and complexity not least because the station is constrained by a narrow entrance cutting. This makes working safely logistically challenging and will restrict access available into Lime Street Station for trains during the works.

In order to limit the amount of disruption to the Liverpool City Region and rail passengers Network Rail have worked collaboratively with Liverpool City Council, other city region partners and train operating companies to design the programme in order to reduce station closures/disruption wherever possible. To this end much of the preparation works are being undertaken whilst the station is still fully operational.

This inevitably leaves some works which require station closure and whilst these have been kept to the absolute minimum this will be disruptive to passengers. Wherever possible solutions have been sought that provide rail to rail transfers providing quick and easy access to the city with no impact on the highways network. Unfortunately in some cases these are not possible so rail replacement solutions must be sought.


Transportation Plan – 2017

In 2017 23 days of full and partial closure are planned between 30th September and 23rd October. These are set out in the table below with a brief summary of the transportation plan that has been developed to support passenger movements. As you will note rail to rail connections have been prioritised and developed wherever possible to reduce the reliance on rail replacement bus services. That said some rail replacement buses are required to provide the customer with the best possible journey options to ensure that they can and will continue to travel to and from the Liverpool City Region as follows (NB – the plans for travel are now available to the general public via National Rail Enquiries):

Date Type Mitigation – rail services through Manchester, Wigan and Preston – Chat Moss Line Mitigation West Coast Main Line/Cheshire Lines
30th Sept – 8th Oct 17


Full Closure of Lime Street Station

All Lines

Rail replacement services from St Helens Junction and St Helens Central into Liverpool.

Service will comprise of 4 rail replacement services with both stopping and express services from each interchange station.

Main line services terminate at Liverpool South Parkway with a rail to rail transfer via the Merseyrail network into Liverpool City Centre.

Northern services terminate at Hunts Cross with express and stopping rail replacement services from Hunts Cross to Liverpool City Centre.

9th Oct –

20th Oct 17

Partial Closure of Lime Street Station Rail to Rail shuttle service in operation between Manchester, Wigan, Preston and Liverpool Lime Street.

Shuttle service into Platforms 1 & 2 will operate between 6am and 8pm each day with a rail replacement service from Huyton to Liverpool outside of these times.

21st Oct – 23rd Oct 17 Full Closure of Lime Street Station

All Lines

Rail replacement services from Huyton Station into Liverpool.

Service will comprise of 4 rail replacement services with both stopping and express services from each station.

23rd Oct 17 All Lines Open

Throughout the works the message will be that Liverpool is open for business and those that want to travel will be able to make their journey


2018 works

These are also being planned but the dates have yet to be confirmed by Network Rail. The programme will be made up of the same elements as 2017 (by this time a tried and tested method with lessons learnt) over different timescales.

More information about how these works might affect your journey across the city region and further afield can be found by clicking on the following links:

Network Railhttp://www.networkrail.co.uk/lcr



National Rail enquirieswww.nationalrail.co.uk