Spotlight on Christmas 2017: Liverpool Lime Street

This Christmas (Saturday 23 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018 inclusive), we will be working to deliver 260 projects on the rail network across Britain as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan.

The work we’re doing will provide more and faster services to help relieve over-crowding on the railway. Passenger numbers have doubled since 1996, and continue to grow. Every day, people take more than 4.6 million journeys to work, study or visit friends and family. Together, the rail industry is working to meet the challenges and improve journeys across the country.

We plan our larger work projects over bank holidays as they’re generally quiet periods, with fewer passengers travelling by rail – find out more here about why we plan work for bank holidays.

If you’re travelling over the bank holiday, please remember to check your journey plans on National Rail Enquiries, as there will be changes to rail services in some areas.

What’s the Liverpool City Region Upgrade?

There are 10 major railway improvement projects as part of £340m railway investment in the Liverpool City Region (LCR), including at Liverpool Lime Street, Maghull North and Newton-le-Willows stations.

As well as vital upgrades to signalling and track, there will be longer, better managed platforms to accommodate longer trains as part of the LCR programme, helping to provide more space and seats for passengers.

The LCR programme sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform rail travel for customers across the north of England.

What are we doing at Liverpool Lime Street station?

Our work at Liverpool Lime Street station will enable an extra three services in and out of the station per hour from 2019. This includes new direct services to Scotland.

The first phase of the Liverpool Lime Street upgrade was completed to schedule on 22 October 2017 following a complex 23-day upgrade.

Engineers replaced almost 2,000m of track, redesigned and lengthened platforms and built two new ones (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 also installed.

What work is happening on the Liverpool City Region project over Christmas?

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

The new platform 8 at Liverpool Lime Street, which was built this year, will open to passengers after the Christmas period, on Thursday 28 December. The current platform 8 will reopen as the new platform 9, while existing platforms 6 and 9 will be closed from Christmas while remodelling takes place. This includes lengthening and widening platform 6 to allow for longer trains.  

We will also be installing overhead line equipment and carrying out further signalling upgrades, with new signalling equipment on the 16-mile stretch of track between Edge Hill and Winsford so we can recontrol this section to the central rail operating centre in Manchester later in 2018. This will result in more reliable journeys and help to minimise delays.

From Wednesday 27 December to Sunday 7 January, work continues on the new Maghull North station, which is expected to open to the public in May 2018.

How will journeys be affected?

We are working in partnership with train operators to keep passengers on the move and the Liverpool City Region open for business.

Liverpool Lime Street station will be closed completely on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (as usual) but the concourse and lower level station will be open on Wednesday 27 December. 

While the Ormskirk to Maghull line is closed (Wednesday 27 December to Sunday 7 January), regular rail replacement bus services will be in operation.

For information on changes to services, please check National Rail Enquiries before you travel

Our travel advice:

  • Stick to public transport to keep the Liverpool City Region moving.
  • Plan ahead and allow extra time for your journey.
  • Please print off/pick up tickets purchased in advance online before the day of travel due to limited/no printing facilities at Merseyrail stations (including Liverpool South Parkway, Moorfields and Liverpool Central). You will still be able to print and pick up tickets at Liverpool Lime Street Station, but please allow extra time for your journey.
  • Additional staff will be on hand to help you, please speak to them if you are in need of help.
  • Parking will be extremely limited at Liverpool South Parkway.

What work is happening at Liverpool Lime Street next year?

In summer 2018 there will be further signalling upgrades, including re-control to Manchester Rail Operating Centre, and we will continue remodelling platform 6 and installing overhead line equipment.

The work brings us closer to our aim of hundreds more trains running across the north of England, with more seats, running more quickly and reliably.

Find out more

Christmas 2017 railway improvement work

Liverpool City Region programme

Great North Rail Project

LNW route