Lime Street’s £100m upgrade completed on time
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.