The £140m overhaul of Liverpool Lime Street railway station has completed with all the station’s platforms now brought into full use, following a 12-month upgrade programme that also saw an emergency closure in January.
The final stage of the upgrade works have seen the former platform two extended and brought back into full use. This platform, now named platform one, has been extended by 60m, from 160m to 220m in length to accommodate longer trains.
The £140m upgrade has seen all the station’s platforms remodelled, widened, and lengthened, while two new platforms have also been built.
An extensive signalling upgrade has also been completed to allow more trains to run in and out of the station; signalling control was successfully moved over to Manchester’s Rail Operating Centre in the summer, which Network Rail said would mean “more reliable journeys for passengers” as well as “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 2 June – 30 July 2018 – although there were two further weekend closures on 2 September and 14 October.
Lime Street station also experienced an emergency closure over the weekend of 7 January this year when it emerged there was “severe corrosion” on structures carrying overhead lines.
A Freedom of Information request by Place North West subsequently revealed Network Rail did not identify this corrosion the structure carrying the lines into the station, despite carrying out two inspections in the months running up the emergency closure.
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.”
Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, added:“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.