Liverpool Lime Street October 2018
Lime Street station lacks capacity for high-speed trains, said Rotheram

Taskforce to assess options for Liverpool HS2 station

Sarah Townsend

The Liverpool City Region Station Commission is drawing up proposals for a rail station that would link Liverpool city centre with High Speed Two and Northern Powerhouse Rail services.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “I want our region to maximise the huge opportunities that HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail offer. The current capacity at Lime Street isn’t enough to cope with significantly larger high-speed trains, so we want to construct a brand-new station that will provide world-class facilities to welcome visitors to our world-class city region.”

Chaired by Everton FC chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, the commission is tasked with identifying and considering options for the station’s location, size and functions, and assessing the potential for significant regeneration and redevelopment associated with a new city centre train station.

The commission, which met for the first time this week, comprises a range of experts from across transport, business and the public sector.

They will inform the development of business cases, feasibility studies, economic analysis and masterplanning as proposals progress, and in particular will aim to ensure integration with relevant programmes, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail.

A station to replace or expand Liverpool Lime Street would have to accommodate 21st century trains and to link HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail to the rest of the city region’s local transport infrastructure.

“When it is built, it will be much more than a rail station,” Rotheram added. “I want it to be an architecturally stunning gateway that offers a mix of leisure, retail and office accommodation.

“I have always said that connectivity is critical to our ambitious proposals. Having the facility for improved services North/South, but also West/East, would both cut passenger journey times and increase freight capacity, bringing much-needed environmental, social and economic benefits for our area and the whole country.”

Barrett-Baxendale said the project would “not only create a world-class transport hub and gateway to the Liverpool City Region that is fit for the 21st century, it will bring optimism and opportunity as we emerge from the effects of Covid-10.”

 

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Consider the Mount Pleasant car park site. Perfect for the Knowledge Quarter, this site could link Lime Street to Central. The Wirral Line passes under the former 051 Cinema, and a short Northern Line Extension would link everything together. This would also solve the problem of how to extend Central as the new station would relieve capacity there too. Underground passageways linking the two stations would be shorter than the existing passageway at Moorfields to the Old Hall Street exit. You could also have an iconic new building as you rise up Mount Pleasant, a transport interchange behind the Adelphi, and an arrival point to the rear at the heart of the Knowledge Quarter.

By Red Squirrel

Fantastic news

By Anonymous

Great news to help keep HS2 on track and on the right lines to connect the LCR with this signal to upgrade and point us as a great destination to arrive at!

By Oh Mr Porter!

Better late than never, but should have been done years ago, as the recently produced Rail Needs Assessment for the North shows Liverpool is still an after thought in terms of HS2 infrastructure, and there is little in it to give us confidence that we will get anymore than scraps. Quite how a city the size of Liverpool and it`s city region can be ignored in such a way is appalling and there should be a national inquiry. Hopefully this move will remind the National Infrastructure Commission that we will not be marginalised and treated so shabbily.

By Anonymous

The term HS2 can be taken out of the description. An alternative to Lime Street and the limitations of access to it should be looked at in any respect.

By Anonymous

Mount Pleasant would be a good idea but I think Down by Great Howard street Leeds street. It will take 1hr 20mins from London to Liverpool on HS2; it takes 1hr 30mins just to get to Southampton. There’s every possibility that Cunard would move back to Liverpool. There could be a new station built on the moorfield/Sandhills northern line.

By Anonymous

This would be a tremendous boost to the local economy, I really hope they can find a suitable site for this and not face the usual “Left wing Luddite” opposition to anything good that happens in Liverpool.

By Liverpolitis

The answer is to develop our own ambitious plans, with proper cost-benefit analyses, that can fulfill the Northern Powerhouse agenda, and allow the whole UK to reap the benefits of high-speed access to Liverpool from the south and from the east.

By Red Squirrel

HS2 in this context is just wishful thinking it simply won’t happen. That Lime St needs to be redeveloped is self evident.

By Realist

I know it is slightly outside of the city centre, but surely Edge Hill station and the vast land surrounding it currently used as railway sidings/infrastructure should be given serious consideration. Upon closer inspection of Edge Hill and said land, it can be seen there is ample space to build such a new HS2/HS3 station. In addition the fact that (1) the existing circular freight Canada Dock branch line passes through there (which has been mooted for some time to take passenger services) and also (2) the heads of the disused Wapping and Waterloo tunnels are at Edge Hill station, which could readily be connected to the Merseyrail network, the new HS2/HS3 station could….could connect itself to a massively increased Merseyrail system (potentially the best local commuter metro rail system outside of London). We live in hope.

By Old Hall Street

Bizarre that Liverpool has been shunted into the sidings when it comes to connectivity and development of the Rail network.The east west connectivity especially is more important than ever .

By JohnP

Fair play to Steve, he’s great at throwing these distractions out (the wind power on the Mersey is another one) – long-term projects with no timescales or evident financing. Meanwhile, last year the LCA managed a huge underspend on capital projects – hardly the greatest advert for devolved powers. I like Denise and think she’s a tremendous force for good in the city, but if I was an Everton shareholder I’d be more concerned that she gets the Bramley Moore scheme off the blocks rather than devoting time to another from Steve’s wishlist.

By John Smith

I’d call it diligent planning for robust east/west, north/south links. The strategic importance of Liverpool is unarguable. We are the western arm of the northern powerhouse, our port is crucial for UK as well as northern prosperity as trade shifts to the Atlantic and the Pacific, we have undergone a cultural renaissance over the past few decades and our digital, bio-tech and knowledge-based economy is of national importance. There will be high speed connections to Liverpool, we just need to plan it properly.

By Red Squirrel

Wherever it is located it needs to have capacity for 400m long services as once HS2 is complete the city will only see 1 long distance high speed service per hour to London.

By Anonymous

Not needed

By PDM

I think a new station site consideration could be adjacent to and to include John Lennon Airport, with dedicated link to lime street St.
This would negate the immense disruption in the city centre and allow necessary station improvements to Lime Street and link to underground system.

By Frank Hurley

Easy keep it bang in the city centre
Knock down clayton square and st John’s precinct
Build a new magnificent Iconic terminal with hotels restaurants and retail in its place.
Extend lime street to run right into the new clayton square st John’s terminus
Extend central to run right into the new terminus widening the tunnels to allow more trains through that route.
It also gives an option to have trains running under the Mersey and then South using the well under utilised track there as well as into Wales.
It also gives an opportunity to extend the Northern lines out of the same terminus as far as Scotland and Newcastle. With the possibility of trains running through Liverpool and onto Scotland or Wales.
Also considering a proper link to the Airport.
The terminus should also be well serviced by a modern light rail or tram system

By Peter Ramsey

I still believe Edge Hill could be overhauled, reopen old lines so people can bypass centre, create moving walkways, pavements into lime Street so no trains actually enter those tunnels. Maybe even shuttles like at airports…. Maybe expand the loop system to edge hill too , even a cable car system from Edge Hill to one side of pier head, Albert Dock and one to the other side… I think Edge Hill could be expanded big time, there seems so much space around and near by….

By David B

Lime Street Station is a lovely Grade 1 listed building, recently refurbished, which once served more train movements than it does today. After HS2 / NPR Liverpool will have one of two more trains per hour to London and one of two more per hour to Manchester. These additional trains could almost certainly be accommodated within the existing structure by replacing the missing platform at the southern side of the train shed (where the pick up / drop off parking is currently sited). The best thing by far for local rail services would be the electrification and upgrade of the CLC route to Manchester (via Warrington), which would enable Merseyrail trains (Northern Line) to run seamlessly through Liverpool Central to Manchester, thus providing a vastly more user-friendly service and avoiding turn-back congestion at Central / Hunts Cross. Doing this would also free up at least four additional train paths at Lime Street – more than enough for HS2. Platform length at Lime Street will not be a problem. There are insufficient paths on HS2 south of Brum for Liverpool to have dedicated 400m train-sets. If Liverpool wants two high speed trains per hour (and it does), then these will have to be 200m sets which join up with Preston/Blackpool/Chester sets at Crewe. Please don’t get me wrong: I’d love someone to sanction a multi-billion pound regeneration project behind Lime Street, but unless Steve Rotheram finds a blank cheque down the back of his sofa, it isn’t going to happen. What’s more, judging from the hideous banality proposed for Curzon Street, we’re better off without it.

By Matthew Jones