Located on Lime Street, the Liverpool Lime Street railway station is considered to be the gateway to Liverpool City Centre. The station consists of a mainline and an underground railway station and is the largest railway station in Liverpool city centre. It is managed by Network Rail.
In September 2010, Lime Street station won the ‘Station of the Year’ award at the National Rail Awards 2010.
Lime Street station history
Lime Street’s first station was opened by John Foster Jnr in August 1836 with a wooden train-shed. The station, however, was replaced by a new station built by Sir William Tite in 1849. The new station was located on Lord Nelson Street and was built with an innovative iron segmental-arched vault train-shed.
In 1867, the original train-shed was replaced with a new train-shed by London and North Western Railway (LNWR). It is still in use and is the north vault of the present station. Added in 1874, the second train-shed vault currently exists as the south vault of the station.
The station’s concourse was remoulded in 1955. It was again remoulded in 1984. A barrier-line building in the north vault and a glazed artwork screen in the south shed were also constructed during the same year.
The North Western Hotel, originally opened in 1871, was re-opened in 1997 by Liverpool John Moores University.
The station’s ownership was transferred to the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) railway in 1923 and again to the London Midland Region of British Railways in 1948.
The first InterCity service from the station was started in 1966.
A Station Regeneration Programme was carried out between 1999 and 2000 to refurbish the train sheds.
Location and layout
Lime Street railway station is situated on the junction of Merseyrail’s Wirral Line and the West Coast Main Line from London Euston.
The station comprises of two sections, the Merseyrail Underground station and the mainline station.
Merseyrail is located between St George’s Hall and mainline station and is served by a single platform. From here, the mainline station can be accessed through a pedestrian subway and escalators. In a recent improvement programme, the station was equipped with automatic ticket barriers and machines.
The mainline station has a total of nine platforms. Platforms 7-9 are longer than platforms 1-6 and mainly handle long-distance trains to Birmingham, London, Norwich and Sheffield.
Design and construction
Liverpool Lime Street mainline station was opened in 1836 and its underground station was opened in 1977. Of the total ten platforms, the mainline station uses nine, while the tenth one is used by the underground station.
New buildings were constructed in 2009 between platforms 7 and 8. These buildings have facilities such as ATM, customer service point and lounges. These also have some unoccupied retail units.
In 2007, a £35m project (Lime Street Gateway project) was sanctioned for the redevelopment of the station and its immediate adjoining areas. The Lime Street Gateway project was completed in October 2010.
The project involved the construction of an improved frontage and new area of public space. The Concourse House and the row of shops were demolished in July 2008 by Walter Forshaw.
The project was funded by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), English Partnerships, the Northwest Regional Development Agency, and the Railways Heritage Trust. The project was delivered together by Liverpool Vision, the city’s Economic Development Company, the Homes and Communities Agency, Liverpool City Council, Network Rail, Merseytravel, and Balfour Beatty Regional Civil Engineering. The Gateway was designed by Glenn Howells Architects.
Liverpool Lime Street station upgrades
Network Rail initiated major upgrade works at Liverpool Lime Street station as part of the Great North Rail Project in September 2017.
The upgrades were conducted in two phases, which included the replacement of 2,000m of track and construction of two new platforms during phase one.
Phase two upgrade works began in June 2018 and included renovation of existing platforms and remodelling of track layout.
Lime Street station services
There are five train operating companies that serve the Lime Street mainline station. These are Virgin Trains, Northern Rail, London Midland, First TransPennine and East Midlands.
Virgin Trains provides a route to London Euston via Runcorn and Stafford through its hourly Pendolino service.
Northern Rail runs the ticket office and is the main operating company of the station. The company operates an hourly service to Blackpool North via Preston, Stalybridge via Manchester Victoria, Manchester Airport via Newton-le-Willows, and Warrington Bank Quay via Earlestown.
It provides a service every half hour to Manchester Oxford Road and Wigan North Western.
London Midland runs a half hourly service to Birmingham New Street via Runcorn, Crewe, Stafford, and Wolverhampton.
Apart from providing an hourly service to Scarborough via Warrington, Manchester, Leeds and York, First TransPennine Express also operates daily services to Middlesbrough, Hull, and Newcastle.
East Midlands operates an hourly service to Norwich, passing through Warrington, Manchester, Sheffield and Nottingham.
Lime Street’s underground station provides services to Ellesmere Port, Chester, West Kirby and New Brighton.
Lime Street station facilities
The booking office and travel centre, located on the North Concourse near Lord Nelson Street, is operated by Northern Rail. Automatic ticket machines that allow passengers to buy tickets are available on platform 7 / 8 outside the Virgin Trains information point.
Toilets are located near the entrance of the Lord Nelson Street. The station also has an accessible toilet and baby changing facilities.
Cash machines are located in front of the standard class waiting room on platform seven, while public telephones are installed on the concourse outside the ticket office.
Trolley bays are available at platforms 2/3, 4/5, 7 and 8, Lord Nelson Street, and Skelhorne Street. Located on the main concourse is the left luggage office, where a lost property counter is also located.
Food, drink and shopping outlets at the station include M&S Simply Foods, Burger King, Uppercrust, Boots, Café Nero, and Costa Coffee.
The car parking service at the station is managed by APCOA. Bicycle parking areas are located on Skelhorne Street and Lord Nelson Street.