The Anonymous Widower

On Liverpool’s Northern Line

I took these pictures on Merseyrail’s Northern Line.


  • Merseyrail have been updating the platforms and step-free access, but usually there is a small step up into the train.
  • There are several stations with wide island platforms.
  • Compared to the London Overground, there don’t appear to be many coffee stalls on the platforms. Transport for London encourages independent stalls.
  • All platforms, that I saw, could handle two three-car Class 507/508 trains, working as a six-car train.
  • The Northern Line has various branches and it seemed that the system has been designed to go down one branch and then do a quick change to go up another.

The only thing the line needs is new faster trains.

Currently, journey times are as follows.

  • Southport- Hunts Cross – 64 minutes
  • Kirkby – Hunts Cross – 44 minutes with a change.
  • Ormskirk – Hunts Cross – 72 minutes with a change.

It strikes me,that if trains could get Southport to Hunts Cross in under an hour, this might have knock-on effects, as to the number of trains needed.

The Victoria Line in London has now simplified its diagrams, by removing a few bottlenecks and the outcome is increased frequencies on the line.

I suspect that Merseyrail engineers have been following the Victoria Line works with interest.

At present four trains per hour (tph) go to each of the Northern terminals, with 8 tph terminating at Liverpool Central station and four tph at Hunts Cross station.

Could Liverpool be seeing a Thameslink style service where perhaps twelve or perhaps more tph ran on the core route between Sandhills and Hunts Cross stations?

Twelve tph would need twenty four three-car trains if all round trips could be within an hour, with popular services perhaps run with six-car trains.

Modern trains with a lot of driven axles can do so many more round trips in a day.

December 17, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.