Liverpool City Region upgrade

£340m is being invested in the railway in the Liverpool City Region

Upgrades to Liverpool Lime Street, the Halton Curve project and new Maghull North station are a few of the vital schemes that form part of a £340m railway investment in the Liverpool City Region. This work also sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform rail travel for customers across the North of England.

Merseyrail platform upgrades

A programme of upgrades to almost 100 platforms and track remodelling at 58 stations across the Merseyrail network is taking place between October 2018 and June 2019.

This work is vital to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of their new, state of the art trains. Upgrades involve altering the height and width of station platforms and realigning track. Although the changes might not be obvious to passengers, the work is essential to ensure the new trains’ sliding step can meet the platform edge. The sliding step will mean passengers can get on and off the train with ease.

Arriving in 2020, the trains will be safer, faster, modern and able to carry more people.

Other engineering works on the Merseyrail network

While lines are closed to complete platform upgrades, we have also brought forward some of our other, essential maintenance works to maximise the use of each closure. This also minimises overall disruption to passengers. These essential works will help to improve reliability and keep the railway safe.

During phase 6 (Southport to Bank Hall, 2 - 24 February):

We will be renewing the bridge deck on a railway bridge in Bootle that straddles the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The complete renewal will take place between 18 – 22 February.

Level crossing maintenance works will take place:

  • Freshfields level crossing closed overnight 16 February –17 February
  • Ainsdale level crossing closed between 4 – 10 February
  • Hall Road level crossing closed between 11 – 19 February
  • Portland Street level crossing closed 9 February
  • Duke Street level crossing closed 10 February
  • Aughton Road level crossing closed 9 February

Track maintenance works will also take place along the route on Sunday 17 February.

During phase 7 (Chester to Rock Ferry, 2 March - 2 April)

We will be completing strengthening works to the footbridge at Bromborough station, while the station is closed.

Being a considerate neighbour

In order for us to complete our platform upgrades, there will be some station closures on the route. In these cases, work will take place during the day and night to ensure it can be delivered quickly and safely. In other cases, upgrades will be completed at night when trains are not running, to allow trains to continue to run during the day.

If you live near a railway access point you will notice increased traffic to and from the access points during the upgrade works.

We understand the inconvenience and disruption this work may cause. The type of equipment and machinery used does mean some disturbance is unavoidable, but we have planned our work to minimise any disruption as much as possible.

What are we doing?

  • Where stations are closed, we will try to complete as much of the platform construction work during the day
  • Acoustic barriers will be used to reduce noise levels
  • Noise levels will be regularly monitored throughout the work
  • Our machines must sound an alarm when moving to alert our engineers. We have fitted our machines with a ‘white noise’ alarm which is quieter than the usual warning alarm.
  • Wherever possible, use of excessively loud machinery (incl. cutting and grinding) will be undertaken off site or during the day
  • Existing platform lighting and smaller battery-operated low-level lighting will be used at stations. Tower lighting may need to be used at our railway access points, but they will be insulated and fitted with covers to minimise any disturbance to neighbours.
  • Much of the materials needed will have already been delivered to site ready for use. This will reduce the level of noisy vehicles on site.
All staff and contractors working in the area are briefed on working responsibly in the local community. We expect staff to be considerate, polite and courteous at all times.   We are grateful to our neighbours for bearing with us during these vital works.

Liverpool Lime Street

The £140m transformation of Liverpool Lime Street is complete. Upgrades to track, platforms and signalling were completed on time and on budget, with the final stage taking place on Sunday 14 October 2018.

Platforms across the station have been completely remodelled. Two brand new platforms have been built and are in use, and all others remodelled, widened and/or lengthened.


An extensive signalling upgrade has also been completed to allow more trains to run in and out of the station, more reliably. Signalling control was successfully moved over to centrally-operated Manchester Rail Operating Centre in July 2018. This means more reliable journeys for passengers, allowing faster decision making on the railway to minimise delays.

More, longer, better-managed platforms together with the station’s brand-new, state-of-the-art signalling system enables longer trains, with more space and more seats for passengers to run more reliably. These vital improvements have all been delivered within the station’s historic Grade-II listed building.

Commencing Christmas 2016, the majority of the work was delivered over two key phases; 30 September – 22 October 2017 and 2 June – 30 July 2018.

Fast stats: Liverpool Lime Street transformation

  • 5,000-strong workforce totally over 1 million hours worked in total
  • 4.7km track upgraded
  • 26,000 tonnes of new ballast (railway foundation stone) installed
  • 75 engineering trains used
  • 11km of new overhead line wiring installed
  • 25 new signals installed
  • 65 new overhead line structures installed

Other key schemes