The Anonymous Widower

Liverpool South Parkway Station Stands In For Lime Street

I went to Liverpool to see the new Maghull North station and a few other things in the Second City.

Liverpool Lime Street station is closed at the moment due to major works, so all London trains are going only as far as Liverpool South Parkway station.

These pictures show the station.

The station was coping well, as passengers from outside Liverpool ytansferred to Merseyrail to continue their journeys to the City Centre.

On my visit to Liverpool, I went first to Maghull North station, so I got a Southport train on Merseyrail’s Northern Line to Sandhills station, where I changed trains.

There are not many cities in the UK, which have the luxury of an alternative terminus of the quality of Liverpool South Parkway station to stand in, when the main station has to be closed.

When we left for London, the train initially went towards Liverpool and then crossed over to the line to London, before coming back through the Liverpool South Parkway station.

This was because the station wasn’t designed for use as a terminus and there is no other way to get the train on the right line for Crewe and the South.

It would also appear from the pictures, that to cope with the length of the eleven-car Virgin Pendelinos, that a temporary platform extension has been built.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

What Rolling Stock Will Northern Use Between Blackpool North And Manchester Airport Stations From Tomorrow?

I was alerted to the opening of the service, by this article in Rail Technology Magazine, which is entitled Blackpool To Preston Route To Reopen After Major 5-Month Transformation.

As I was coming up to see someone on Tuesday, I’ve decided to come up on the first Virgin from Euston at 16:33 to Blackpool North station.

My train coming up from London, is I suspect a Class 221 train, as I’m in First in Coach E. So I’ll be diesel-hauled all the way.

I have read somewhere that four-car trains will be running between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport stations, so as these trains will be going via Bolton, where there is still no electrification, I would expect, that Northern will be running a couple of Class 156 trains on this route.

But the route would also be an ideal one to introduce the long-awaited Class 769 trains!

  • Trains call at Poulton-le-Fylde, Preston, Buckshaw Parkway, Chorley, Horwich Parkway, Bolton, Salford Crescent, Deansgate, Oxford Road, Piccadilly and Heald Green.
  • It is electrified, except for between Preston and Deansgate, which could be ready in May 2018.
  • The trains are four-cars with a universal access toilet, so are a step up from the previous rolling stock.

In their news release on the reopening of the Blackpool to Preston route, Northern says this.

Train services between Preston and Blackpool North will resume from Monday 16 April 2018 initially with one train per hour allowing time for driver training on the route.

Obviously, drivers have to learn the route, but as Northern have a fleet of thirty-two Class 319 trains, I suspect they have enough drivers to handle this fleet, when they eventually get to run between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport.

I think it’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see Class 769 trains working this route for training purposes.

In Does A New Service Start Between Wigan North Western And Alderley Edge Stations Using Class 769 Trains On May 20th?, I came to the conclusion that from May 20th, Northern will be adding these two hourly services using Class 769 trains.

  • Wigan North Western and Alderley Edge
  • Wigan North Western and Stalybridge

So will the training of the drivers be completed between Blackpool North and Preston?

Blackpool North And Liverpool Lime Street

I have been exploring this route on the timetable.

I found these trains running from Blackpool North to Liverpool Lime Street.

  • Sundays from April 22nd an hourly train between 11:00 and 22:00
  • Monday to Saturday from April 20th a direct train at 18:02.
  • Sundays from May 21st an hourly train between 08:30 and 22:00
  • Monday to Saturday from May 21st an hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00

And these trains running from Liverpool Lime Street to Blackpool North.

  • Sundays from April 22nd an hourly train between 08:47 and 20:47
  • Monday to Saturday from April 20th a direct train at 07:56.
  • Sundays from May 21st an hourly train between 06:36 and 22:15
  • Monday to Saturday from May 21st an hourly service between 06:00 and 22:00

I would assume that all trains would be served by Class 319 trains.

I think that Northern are being canny here.

  • Liverpool Lime Street and Blackpool North services will be run from the next weekend, with an hourly Sunday service. This will sort out any possible problems with an hourly service, before it is introduced on May 20th.
  • They have added a couple of trains to help commuters between Liverpool and Blackpool.
  • There is still a lot of capacity between Preston and Blackpool North for training.

It will be interesting to see how passengers react to the new timetable on May 20th.

 

April 15, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 4 Comments

Liverpool Lime Street Station Upgrade – 16th November 2017

The upgrading of platforms at Liverpool Lime Street station seemed to be progressing well as I passed through.

Note.

  • Work even seems to have started on the second platform for Virgin services, which would allow two trains per hour.
  • Extra platforms will also allow direct Liverpool to Glasgow services.

In some ways, the Grade II Listed station, will become the first station in the North ready to be ready for high speed trains from London and across the North of England.

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

NR States Ambition To Keep Liverpool Moving During Major Lime Street Work

The title of this post is the same as the title of this article on the Rail Technology Magazine web site.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Liverpool Lime Street will remain “open for business” whilst it undergoes major work this autumn, Network Rail has today reassured passengers in the region.

The latest stage of work will take place between 30 September and 22 October in what is one of the biggest upgrades the station has seen since the 19th century.

The station upgrade is part of a £340 million railway investment in the Liverpool City Region.

This document from Network Rail describes the scope of the project in detail.

These are some extracts from the document.

What Are The Benefits For Passengers?

The Liverpool City Region Railway Upgrade Plan will deliver for passengers:

  •  A bigger and better railway network with longer and faster trains
  •  More reliable railway infrastructure
  • Better facilities for passengers, especially at stations
  • Increased capacity/additional services

What Will This Mean In Practice?

  • Three extra services per hour, in and out of Lime Street station, such as the planned new First Transpennine Express
    services from Liverpool to Glasgow in 2019.
  • Better east-west connectivity to and from Liverpool.
  • New services to Chester via Liverpool South Parkway and the opportunity to develop more routes into North Wales in the future.
  • New station facilities and interchange at Newton-Le-Willows.
  • A new station at ‘Maghull North’ to support growth in passenger demand.
  • New signalling which will improve the reliability of the network and speed up decision making to minimise disruption.
  • Works to facilitate the running of new trains on the Wirral and Northern lines.

Liverpool Lime Street Station

Liverpool Lime Street station will be getting a major upgrade consisting of the following.

  • Two new platforms between the current platforms 7 and 8.
  • Platform lengthening.
  • Improved signalling and electrification.
  • More shops.

This should enable another three trains per hour to be handled.

It’s over fifty years since I first arrived in Lime Street to go to Liverpool University and the station has changed a lot in those years. Network Rail are saying, that this upgrade will cope with the doubling of passenger number expected before 2043.

Using Liverpool South Parkway Station As A Relief Terminus

The upgrade will mean that at times during the works, trains into Liverpool will not be able to access Lime Street. So some trains will terminate at Liverpool South Parkway station from where passengers can take Merseyrail’s Northern Line to the City Centre.

How many of our large cities can cope, when the main station is closed?

  • Glasgow proved they can, when Queen Street station was closed.
  • London is managing biow, with mahor works going on at Waterloo.
  • Manchester’s ability to cope will surely be greatly improved when the Ordsall Chord opens.
  • Birmingham seemed to manage during the rebuilding of New Street station.
  • Newcastle has the Metro to help.
  • Sheffield has a second station at Meadowhall.

Would Leeds be the city to struggle?

Liverpool will probably cope well, as there are various rail routes into the City, that avoid Lime Street, most of which have four trains per hour.

I always remember the Liverpool Bus Strike of around 1967. Liverpudlians just walked, as did most of the students like me, who needed to get into the University.

I don’t think, it will come to walking this time, as Network Rail have promised quality buses.

Conclusion

There is a lot of work to do, but after the example of Waterloo, it is likely to go fairly well to plan.

But there will be a few hiccups.

August 17, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment