Lime Street’s £100m up­grade com­pleted on time

Rail (UK) - - Network - An­drew Ro­den Con­tribut­ing Writer rail@bauer­me­ @AndyRo­den1

THE lat­est stage of Liver­pool Lime Street’s £100 mil­lion-plus up­grade was com­pleted on time in the early hours of Oc­to­ber 23.

Stage 2 in­volved the in­stal­la­tion of over­head line equip­ment (OLE), res­ig­nalling, switches and cross­ings, and the re­place­ment of al­most 2,000 me­tres of track.

Net­work Rail’s block­ade started on Septem­ber 30. Dur­ing the first nine days, at­ten­tion fo­cused on work to en­able Plat­forms 1 and 2 to re­open for tem­po­rary bi-di­rec­tional op­er­a­tion, which was achieved on Oc­to­ber 9.

Most in­ter-city trains started and ter­mi­nated at Liver­pool South Park­way, but the re­open­ing of Plat­forms 1 and 2 al­lowed four trains per hour to run to and from the Manch­ester di­rec­tion.

Twelve point ends were in­stalled as part of the sta­tion’s re­mod­elling, which also in­volves plat­form length­en­ing and al­ter­ations to cope with an ex­pected two-fold in­crease in pas­sen­ger num­bers by 2043.

The new Plat­form 8 is due to open next month, with the new Plat­form 7 sched­uled to be com­mis­sioned in sum­mer 2018. When the project is com­pleted in 2018, an ad­di­tional three trains per hour will be able to use the sta­tion.

In ad­di­tion to the works in­side the sta­tion com­plex, prepa­ra­tions are also be­ing made for the han­dover of sig­nalling to Manch­ester Rail Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre.

Sig­nalling re­newals have fo­cused on all Re­lo­cat­able Equip­ment Build­ings lo­cated at road level in the space-con­strained cut­tings at the sta­tion throat, and are geared to­wards im­prov­ing ease of ac­cess and work­force safety. Much of the OLE work has in­volved the re­place­ment of life­ex­pired equip­ment and al­ter­ations to in­cor­po­rate the new track lay­out.

One of the ma­jor as­pects of the block­ade was the in­stal­la­tion of a five-track OLE boom, and the de­com­mis­sion­ing of the tem­po­rary bi-di­rec­tional sig­nalling dur­ing a two-day clo­sure of the sta­tion (Oc­to­ber 21/22) to re­store nor­mal op­er­a­tion. Plat­form works were com­pleted, and a Re­lo­cat­able Equip­ment Build­ing in­stalled within the sta­tion foot­print.

Net­work Rail Se­nior Project Man­ager (In­fra­struc­ture Projects - Sig­nalling) Sean Hy­land said that as early as the af­ter­noon of Oc­to­ber 17, Stage 2 of the project

was 78.2% com­plete, with all of the 112 project mile­stones pro­grammed to that point hav­ing been achieved. He paid par­tic­u­lar trib­ute to the work­force, which af­ter Oc­to­ber 9 had un­der­taken much of the work un­der­neath par­tially-en­er­gised 25kV over­head lines and op­er­a­tional rail ser­vices.

Stage 3 of the sta­tion up­grade will take place dur­ing a Christ­mas block­ade, Stage 4 dur­ing the Easter pe­riod and Stage 5 over an eight-week pe­riod ex­pected to fall in June and July 2018; two fur­ther fol­low-up stages are planned for later in 2018, the ex­act dates of which will be re­leased soon.

The Lime Street up­grade is said to be the big­gest trans­for­ma­tion at the sta­tion since the 19th cen­tury. It is one of ten ma­jor rail­way up­grades un­der a £340m rail­way in­vest­ment in the Liver­pool City Re­gion, and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to trans­form rail travel for pas­sen­gers in the north of Eng­land.


Liver­pool Lime Street was up­graded in a two-part £100 mil­lion-plus scheme. The sec­ond phase in­volved in­stalling over­head line equip­ment as well as other vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture com­po­nents. On Oc­to­ber 20, new OLE cate­nary is in­stalled on the ap­proach to the Mersey­side sta­tion.

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