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£340m improvements to Liverpool railway announced

Liverpool will receive £340m railway investment in the next three years following a new partnership between Network Rail and Liverpool City Region.

The funding, consisting of £229m from Network Rail and £111m from Liverpool, including Growth Deal funding, will pay for upgrades to allow longer trains and up to three extra trains an hour at Lime Street, the final phase of on-going renewal of the riverbed and loop line ‘slab track’ of the underground Wirral line, and a new Maghull North station.

It could also pay for a new Liverpool to Cheshire service, created by upgrading the Halton Curve to a two-way track, if it is approved by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) in April.

Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of Merseyrail, said: “We see this as essential incremental improvement ahead of transformational schemes such as high speed links north-south and east- west to ensure we fulfil our potential as a key player in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.”

Cllr Robinson also said that the transformations were part of the first stage of a 30-year Long Term Rail Strategy.

Joe Anderson, mayor of Liverpool, and chair of the LCRCA, said: “It’s a welcome sign of our success and growing economy, with more jobs and businesses, that there is more demand for train services to travel both around the city region and beyond. 

“This investment will mean real improvements for people in every corner of the city region, while we continue to lobby hard for the big transformational investments like HS2 and HS3.”

A recent report from ResPublica recommended that Liverpool use money from local business rates and employer National Insurance contributions to pay for HS2 to come to the city.

The track, signalling and platform upgrades at Lime Street are expected to close the station in autumn 2017 and again in 2018, although alternative transport will be provided for passengers.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Our focus during any disruption is to take a similar approach to the Commonwealth Games, to ensure that while journeys will be slightly different, that they run smoothly enabling access to the city at all times.”

The upgrades will also include extra track between Huyton and Roby, re-signalling between Weaver and Wavertree, and upgrades at Newton le Willows station.

In last week’s Budget, the government formally gave the green light to HS3 between Manchester and Leeds.

(Image c. Network Rail)


Andrew G   28/03/2016 at 21:53

It will be good for Liverpool to have both HS2 and HS3 aswell railway lines that goes in & out of Liverpool Lime Street to be upgraded with new lines to be introduced and non-electrified lines to be electrified for Electric Multiple Unit trains coming to/from Manchester, Pennines and Northwest England as part of the Northern Powerhouse.

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