The first phase of Liverpool Lime Street’s major upgrade will be completed this weekend in time for the station fully reopening on Monday (23 October).
All lines in and out of the station will be closed on Saturday and Sunday as Network Rail completes the final upgrades as part of the station’s 23 day transformation.
Since work began on 30 September, as part of the Great North Rail Project, engineers have replaced almost 2,000m of track, redesigned and lengthened platforms and built two new ones (platforms 7 and 8) all of which will help provide passengers with more seats on more trains in and out of the city.
A modern signalling system – which will improve reliability and provide passengers with a better service – was installed during the first nine days of the work. This allowed trains to run in and out of platforms 1 and 2 for the majority of the upgrade.
Sean Hyland, Network Rail’s senior project manager, said: “This investment is about increasing capacity at the station and improving the reliability of the network, preparing for the predicted doubling of passengers during peak periods within the next 25 years.
“Our engineers have worked day and night over the last three weeks to complete vital upgrades at Lime Street. Although the enhancements may not be obvious, they will contribute to improved journeys in and out of the station as part of the biggest upgrade to Lime Street station since the 19th century.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “I am pleased that this phase of the project has gone well as we enter into the final weekend of works. This is an important investment in our railway and we are all set to progress to the next stages of this project that will deliver far reaching benefits for the City Region.”
Frank Rogers, chief executive of Merseytravel said: “We are nearly there with the first phase of this important upgrade. The travel arrangements put in place have served customers well and it’s obvious that customers have responded positively and planned their journeys.”
Chris Nutton, major projects director at TransPennine Express, said on behalf of all operators using Liverpool Lime Street station: “We’re really pleased that the joint plan we’ve put in place has allowed our customers to keep connected with the City throughout these crucial works. We’re almost there, and ahead of the final weekend please make sure that you continue to check before you travel.”
Andy Heath, Merseyrail’s deputy managing director, said: “Monday will see Merseyrail services return to normal after Network Rail’s three-week programme of work to overhaul Lime Street mainline station.”
“While the upgrade was essential and we were pleased to play a role within it, we are happy to be returning to a full service on all lines, reinstating the usual frequent and comprehensive timetable for the benefit of all our customers.”
Further work over Christmas 2017 and summer 2018 will include further signalling upgrades – including re-control to Manchester Rail Operating Centre – widening, lengthening and remodelling of platform 6 and installation of overhead line equipment.
Once complete in 2018, the work will enable an extra three services per hour in and out of Lime Street station, including new direct services to Scotland. Longer, better managed platforms will allow bigger trains, with more space for passengers, in and out of the station. For more information on the Liverpool Lime Street upgrade visit www.networkrail.co.uk/lcr