Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Archway Road, Huyton

The bridge over Archway Road in Huyton is scheduled for major works this coming weekend, including replacing the bridge deck.  Road and rail closures are required.

The planning permission describes the work as replacement of existing bridge deck with waterproof concrete slab, repair work to elevations and arch, installation of steel fencing to both parapets, and ballast protection.

Archway Road will be closed from Friday 25th until Monday 28th April.

The railway will be closed all day Saturday in addition to the standard Sunday closure.

Huyton Blockade

Timetable updates have now been released for a seven day blockade at Huyton from Saturday 5th to Friday 11th July.  The blockade will extend to Earlestown on the Saturday and Sunday only, reportedly to permit work on the Sankey Viaduct.

Here is a summary of the altered services, see the National Rail site for full details:

  • Buses replace trains Liverpool to Earlestown and Liverpool to St Helens Central.
  • Liverpool to Manchester Airport trains are cancelled.  
  • The Liverpool to Newcastle service will run between Manchester Victoria and Newcastle only.
  • Buses replace trains Liverpool to Manchester Oxford Road and Liverpool to St Helens Central.
  • Liverpool to Manchester Airport trains are diverted via Warrington Central.
  • The Liverpool to Newcastle service will run between Manchester Victoria and Newcastle only.
Monday to Friday
  • Buses replace trains Liverpool to St Helens Junction and Liverpool to St Helens Central.
  • Liverpool - Manchester Airport trains are cancelled.
  • The Liverpool to Newcastle service will run between Manchester Victoria and Newcastle only.
N.B.  This was originally reported as a nine day blockade, and it does seem a little odd that Network Rail are not using a second weekend.  It is possible that more schedule updates will be released later, although we are now inside the twelve week target for timetable changes.  I'll update here as soon as I know.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Huyton Quarry

Work is proceeding at the former site of Huyton Quarry station, where a permanent vehicular access point is being constructed, as well as a sub-station and signalling site.

The roads have been surfaced, and a number of foundations constructed, ready for the sub-station and equipment cabinets.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Rail Operating Centre at Ashburys

Over in eastern Manchester, construction work is just about finished (They were installing handrails on the footpaths when I was there.) on Network Rail's North West Operating Centre.  I'm given to understand that one of its first roles will be to control the signalling at the remodelled Huyton Junction and the new Roby Junction, presumably from mid-July.

Eventually, this centre will control railways all over the North West.

As to the architecture, it's a bit brutal but actually they have cleverly managed to avoid creating a plain ugly cube, so I think I would sum it up as "imposing".

P.S. While travelling to Ashburys I was able to spot an error in the maps on my web site:  The eastern access to TPE's Ardwick depot is not electrified.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Progress Report

One or two people have recently mentioned to me the lack of progress reports in this blog.  Basically it's been a case of "no news is good news", as the work on phase two moves on steadily without any individual exciting events.

However, I took a trip to Manchester yesterday so I think an update is in order:

Edge Hill

I've no idea if this has anything to do with the electrification, but a spare piece of railway land on the north side of the line near Bootle Branch Junction has recently been levelled and a fenced-off compound has been created, with concrete foundations inside.  Could this be the beginning of a sub-station or switching site?

Roby and Huyton Additional Tracks

Construction work on new platforms is proceeding.  The public subway at Huyton is partially closed and the section to be moved has been demolished.  Piling work is under way next to the telephone exchange.

I've not seen an official announcement yet, but it has been reported that there will be a nine day closure commencing 5 July for the reconstruction of Huyton Junction and work on Sankey Viaduct.

Huyton Quarry Substation and Vehicular Access

Work continues slowly.  The foundation for the sub-station is in place and the roadways are currently hardcore, awaiting the tarmac.

Huyton Quarry to Earlestown

Almost all mast bases are in place, and many of them have masts and contact arms.  The only exception is Sankey Viaduct where I didn't spot any indications of work.


Track panels, including switches, are stacked beside the loop, suggesting that work on the track may be about to resume.  The crossover from the Down Chat Moss into the loop is still disconnected.  On the signalling front, some new signals are still bagged, and  I observed some signalling engineers delivering a new relay panel.


Work on the equipment here continues.


Lots of gantries are up between Victoria and Ordsall Lane.  Victoria itself is very much a building site, with the tram stop closed at the moment.

What Next?

It can't be long until the first wires go up, can it?