The Anonymous Widower

Liverpool’s Railways Get A Makeover

Unlike some places, which are getting major new stations or lines on their rail networks, Liverpool is getting a package of smaller projects according to this article on the BBC.

  • New and longer platforms at Lime Street station, with upgraded signalling equipment. This will enable longer trains and more frequent services
  • Renewing tracks on the Merseyrail underground loop
  • Laying additional track between Huyton and Roby – this will enable faster services between Liverpool and the east
  • Building a new station at Maghull North – between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations
  • Newton-le-Willows station will be improved
  • New Liverpool-to-Chester service and the re-opening of the Halton Curve

But they do add up to a total of £340million.

Liverpool Lime Street Station

Liverpool Lime Street station got a major upgrade for when Liverpool was the 2008 European Capital of Culture and the lines are currently being fully electrified, so the station improvements will complete the transformation of the station into a fitting gateway to the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It might even become a Grade I Listed Building in its own right.

This is said about the remodelling of the station in Wikipedia.

A £340m remodelling of the station will take place from 2017 This will create two new platforms between the existing platforms 7 and 8, with other platforms being lengthened and widened. The remodelling will allow for new services to Glasgow, starting in 2019. A supermarket and new shops will also be built. The station will close for nine days from 30 September 2017 and will also close in autumn 2018 (with dates yet to be confirmed)

On a personal note, I hope it will allow Virgin to run two trains per hour (tph) to and from London. They might even be longer too!

I also wonder if the platforms will be large enough for the trains for HS2, when Liverpool gets two tph from the South.

Newton-le-Willows Station

What happens at Newton-le-Willows station will be interesting to see.

This used to be said under Relocation Proposal in the Wikipedia entry for the station.

There have been proposals to move the station eastwards, due to the poor accessibility of the approach roads and very limited parking, to a site possibly near the M6. However, this could cause some political issues, as it may place the station partially over the Merseyside border into theGMPTE area. Some benefits of this though, would be an opportunity to create a substantial interchange with the West Coast Main Line which passes just east of the existing station, and a large park and ride, reducing car traffic into both Liverpool, Warrington and Manchester. The proposed plans were scrapped in June 2009

It strikes me that Liverpool and Manchester should bury the hatchet on this one!

Apparently, they have buried it, as under Redevelopment this is now said.

Merseytravel put forward proposals in December 2015 for the station to be developed as an interchange station. The proposals were later approved with the work scheduled to be completed by March 2018.


This Google Map shows Newton-le-Willows station and the surrounding area.

Newton-le-Willows Station

Newton-le-Willows Station

I wonder if there is a Grand Design for the UK’s ultimate parkway station.

Trains With An IPEMU Capability

This is an aside to explain the concept of an Independently Powered Electrical Multiple Unit or IPEMU.

It’s just an electrical multiple unit, with some form of energy storage, which is typically a battery. The battery is charged, where there is overhead wires as in Lime Street or third-rail as on the Wirral and Northern Lines.

To a passenger, they’re just like a normal electric train.

On Merseyside, the classic route would be to go up the Northern Line to Ormskirk and then use the batteries to get to Preston via the electrified main line.

Merseyrail have stated that they want their new trains to have this capability.

There are four main reasons.

  • They can open up new routes.
  • The energy created when the train stops can be used to get it moving again, thus making the train more energy efficient.
  • The power in the batteries can be used in emergency in the tunnels, if the main power supply fails.
  • Short lengths of up to a few miles of railway can be left without electrification.

Trains with this capability will become increasingly common.

Onward To Chester And North Wales

You can never accuse Merseyrail of not being ambitious and reopening the Halton Curve and running services to Chester, opens up possibilities for services between Liverpool, John Lennon Airport and North Wales.

As Liverpool also have plans to link the Wirral Line to the Borderlands Line possibly using trains with an IPEMU capability, connectivity between Liverpool and North Wales is set to be increased substantially.


I think it is true to say, that Liverpool have a very useful package of improvements here and when coupled with the new trains that Merseyrail are choosing, Liverpool appears to be moving towards a very good local rail network.

March 21, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

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