London Northwestern Railway passengers are being reminded about a major signalling upgrade which will see the closure of Liverpool Lime Street and Edge Hill stations on the weekend of 2 – 3 November.
As part of the Great North Rail Project, signalling controls are being transferred from Edge Hill to Network Rail’s state-of-the-art rail operating centre in Manchester – making the railway more reliable for passengers.
It forms part of a £340m investment in railway upgrades in the Liverpool City Region by the end of 2019, jointly funded by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Network Rail.
Because Edge Hill station is the gateway to Lime Street, trains cannot run on any lines in and out of Liverpool’s main transport hub.
Passengers can still get to and from central Liverpool using rail replacement buses or by using the Merseyrail network via Liverpool South Parkway, adding only an additional 10-15 minutes to journeys.
People are being advised to check with their train operator or www.networkrail.co.uk/LCR and plan ahead of the affected weekend.
Phil James, managing director of Network Rail’s North West route, said: “I know there is never a good time to close the railway, but for work as complex as this major signalling upgrade unfortunately it is unavoidable. The Great North Rail Project work at Edge Hill follows on from the success transferring control of several signalling areas in the Liverpool City Region last year, as part of our Weaver Wavertree upgrades.
“We’ve worked closely with train operators to make sure passengers can get to where they need to be during Lime Street’s weekend closure. We’re urging people to check www.nationalrail.co.uk to plan their alternative journey on 2 and 3 November.”
Opened in 1830, Edge Hill station is the oldest passenger railway station in the world.
The 21st century signalling upgrade will mean signallers can rapidly respond to disruption and route trains faster to minimise delays. It also futureproofs the railway to allow more frequent and longer trains with more seats as demand for rail travel rises.
About West Midlands Trains
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West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.
- London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
- West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.
West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.
The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit www.abellio.com
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