Liverpool City Region upgrade

Phase One of Liverpool Lime Street’s upgrade completed on schedule

All lines into Liverpool Lime Street station fully reopened on Monday 23 October following a complex 23-day upgrade (30 September – 22 October) as part of Phase One of its major transformation.


Engineers 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.

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.

The work will continue next year and, from 2019, 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 accommodate longer trains, helping to provide more space and seats for passengers.

Our Christmas upgrade plan

Hundreds of our engineers work over the festive period to complete an extensive programme of work. Much of this is completed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day while trains are not running, but in some cases a longer closure is needed.

Liverpool Lime Street 25 – 27 December

The first phase of the Liverpool Lime Street upgrade was completed on 22 October this year. Before the second and final major phase in summer 2018,  further upgrade work will take place over Christmas, including 27 December, where all lines in and out of Lime Street station will be closed.

Over the festive period new platform 8, which was built this year, will be commissioned. Current platform 8 will reopen as the new platform 9, while existing platforms 6 and 9 will be taken out of use to remodel them – including lengthening and widening platform 6 to allow for longer trains. Further signalling upgrades and overhead line equipment installation will also be completed.

We’re working with our train operating partners to finalise the plans to keep passengers on the move and the Liverpool City Region open for business. The plan will be similar to phase one:

  • Many mainline services will start/terminate at Liverpool South Parkway where passengers can easily pick up the Merseyrail service into Liverpool City Centre.
  • Journeys via Huyton (from Manchester Victoria, Preston, Wigan and St Helens) will travel as far as Huyton station with a regular rail replacement bus service in operation between Liverpool Lime Street and Huyton.
  • Journeys via Warrington will start/terminate at Hunts Cross station with a regular rail replacement bus service in operation between Hunts Cross and Liverpool.

More information will be provided over the coming week.

Weaver Wavertree 25 – 26 December

Our engineers will be hard at work on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, installing new signals and signalling equipment on the 16-mile stretch of track between Edge Hill and Winsford. The ‘Weaver Wavertree’ project is an extensive signalling upgrade which involves re-control to a central rail operating centre. This will result in more reliable journeys and will help to minimise delays by enabling faster decision making on the railway.

There will be no impact to services as trains do not run on these dates.

Maghull North station 27 December – 7 January

Work continues on the new Maghull North station, located between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations.

Between 27 December – 7 January while we are busy setting the foundations for the new station, buses will run between Ormskirk and Maghull station. Please plan your journey and allow extra time, visit National Rail Enquiries.

The new station, which will be operated by Merseyrail, is expected to be open to the public in May 2018. It will help to support increasing demand, following extensive new housing and employment developments in the area. The new station will include a new ticket office, ‘park and ride’ facilities, lifts and a footbridge to platforms.

Millions of pounds are being invested in the railway in the Liverpool City Region which is vital to boost the local economy and transform train travel for passengers. As part of our Great North Rail Project, the Liverpool Lime Street project will enable faster, more frequent and reliable train services to run in and out of the station by 2019. This work brings us one step closer to fulfil our aim of running hundreds more trains each day - more trains with more seats, running more quickly and reliably across the north of England.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director, Network Rail

This is one of 10 major railway upgrades as part of a £340m railway investment in the Liverpool City Region and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform rail travel for customers across the north of England.


Other key schemes in the £340m Liverpool City Region investment