The Anonymous Widower

Could A Bombardier Innovia Monorail Be A Modern Replacement For The Liverpool Overhead Railway

Speak to many Liverpudlians born before about 1950 and they will talk about the Liverpool Overhead Railway with deep affection.

The railway ran North-South along Liverpool Docks.

  • The original railway ran for five miles, which was later extended to seven.
  • There were almost twenty stations, including one at Pier Head.
  • It was the second oldest electric metro in the world.

Sadly, the Dockers’ Umbrella wore out, went bust and closed in 1956.

If it had survived, with Liverpool becoming an increasingly important destination for cruise ships and visitors, and with the development of the dockside with modern housing, commercial and leisure developments, including a new Bradley-Moore Dock Stadium for Everton, the Liverpool Overhead Railway would have remained a very important part of Liverpool’s transport infrastructure.

But it’s not there and some Liverpudlians still call for its rebuilding.

In writing Bombardier Transportation Consortium Preferred Bidder In $4.5B Cairo Monorail, I found this video promoting the Innovia monorail.

If Bombardier wanted a high-profile site to install a system to demonstrate its capabilities, there would probably not be a better place in the UK.

But could it be built at an affordable cost?

  • The Cairo monorail is 100 km long and the project cost including trains and maintenance for several years is $4.5billion. So a very rough estimate for a ten kilometre system in Liverpool could be around £300 million.
  • It should be noted that the 5.5 kilometre long Trafford Park Line of the Manchester Metrolink is costing £350million and that doesn’t include any rolling stock.
  • Liverpool is also spending nearly £500million on updating Merseyrail with new Class 777 trains.

I would think it is unlikely, that it will be built, unless the decision is taken for political, property development or tourism reasons.


A monorail could be a welcome and spectacular addition to Liverpool’s waterfront.

But I doubt it would be an easy development to finance.

May 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment