Sunday 14 October 2018

Lime Street Platform One Opened

This morning 2A92 1030 Liverpool Lime Street to Wilmslow, formed by 319382, was the first public working out of the new extended platform one at Lime Street.

These three pictures were taken on the following Tuesday:

Thursday 4 October 2018

Another New Train

Once again, not strictly in our area, but I paid a visit yesterday to Pacific Road in Birkenhead to see a mock-up of the new Class 777 units which are to begin taking over Merseyrail services next year.
Nothing very newsworthy, as photographs have already been published, but worth having a look as I was in the area.

The coloured lights by the doorways change to green when they open.

Friday 28 September 2018

New Train

Not strictly relevant to this blog, as they probably won't be running on our routes, but I was interested to see a new Class 195 DMU pass through Huyton on test today:
These units are expected to be deployed on the Liverpool to Manchester Airport via Warrington Central service, perhaps later this year.

The units are known as "Civity" and are built by CAF in Irun, Spain for Northern.

Monday 30 July 2018

Lime Street Re-opens

Lime Street re-opened this morning after eight weeks of work, so I took a quick look round.

Platform 1 has track, but is closed off by barriers - It is scheduled to open in October.  On the left, the old platform 1 stands trackless:
Further up, the far end of platforms 1 and 2 also awaits completion:
On the concourse, Virgin's First Class Lounge has gained a frontage, although a lot of work remains to be done:

And what of the train service, I hear you ask?  Writing at 4pm I note that at Huyton we have had eleven cancellations and twelve trains more than fifteen minutes late.  I suspect most of these are due to Northern's continuing crew problems, rather than being the fault of the new signalling.

Friday 13 July 2018

Goodbye Lime Street Signal Box

Lime Street signal box was built in 1948 to a wartime LMS design. It has a Westinghouse 'L' power frame with 95 miniature levers. This is one of only two miniature lever frames remaining on Network Rail, the other being at Maidstone East.
The last passenger train to be controlled by the box is scheduled to depart at 19:49 this evening.  In due course the signalling will be decommissioned.  The area will be controlled from the Rail Operating Centre at Ashburys, Manchester when it re-opens on 30 July.

Elsewhere in Lime Street station, there was very little activity visible in the southern train shed this afternoon, most of the work going on was at the throat end of the station:
All over the station new signals are up and ready, and already lit.  These are the 'starters' for platforms 3 and 4 (new numbers):
LS91 stands at the end of platform 1 with just a few more hours of operation ahead:

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Lime Street Work Continues

Work is proceeding at Lime Street.

In the northern shed only one departure signal remains - LS91 is still in use at the end of platform 1, all the others have been removed.  LS91 will also go in a couple of week's time.  Work on the extension of the platform 2/3 island is getting on, the wall on the north side extends all the way to the tunnel mouth:
Instructions for the workers are painted on the platform!
The temporary signals have only a couple of weeks more before they are removed:

Elsewhere in the station and throat, the overhead is almost all shiny new copper, platform 7 (old number) has been resurfaced and work is going on everywhere.

Monday 11 June 2018

Lime Street Phase Two Progress

Liverpool Lime Street re-opened to trains today, with a limited service operating from platforms one and two along a single line to Edge Hill.  This is exactly the same temporary arrangement as operated in October last year.

I took a ride into town to see how work is progressing.

As you can see, the tracks to platform 2 (old number) have been lifted and the only access to that platform is by the temporary crossover from platform 1 (old number).  Construction of the extension and widening of the platform 2 and 3 (old numbers) island is well under way and has already obliterated the original access to platform 2.
The new edge for platform 4 (old number) is well on it way to completion, although there's a gap at the concourse end:
Meanwhile, on the other side of the station an array of on-track machinery is parked in platforms 8 and 9 (new numbers):
Finally, on the concourse work on the former Burger King and Coopers bar is progressing.  I believe this is to become the Virgin customer service office and first class lounge:

Monday 9 April 2018

"New" Train

A Class 323 unit was out and about on driver training duties today.  The schedules have been in the timetable for a few weeks but I think today is the first time they've actually operated.

I took a couple of photos at Huyton:

Lime Street Update

Lime Street was closed on Sunday to allow a couple of changes to take place.  Platform 4 has closed for widening work, and the widened platform 6 has re-opened.

Parts of platform 4 have been demolished already, and the track has been lifted.  (When rebuilt, this will be platform 3)

Platform 6, which was annoyingly narrow in places, has been widened by moving the track into where the siding was.  It will be numbered 5 when the whole project is complete.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

New Timetable - Version 2.0

The second attempt at the new timetable, valid from 20 May, has arrived in the database at last.  As I said in February, there are too many changes for me to describe here so you can see what is intended for your local station on my Open Rail website, just enter your station and a date after 20 May.

If previous releases are anything to go by, there will be a number of tweaks and adjustments over the next few weeks, as minor errors are corrected.

Wednesday 7 March 2018

Lime Street Update

Things are slowly moving forwards at Lime Street, as you can see in a few pictures I took yesterday:

Platform 6 (old number) has been widened so that the track is roughly where the siding was.  The edging is almost complete along the full length.  New track is in place, although it currently doesn't connect anywhere at the throat end.  This platform will be numbered 5 eventually.  It should re-open in April.

New platform 7 has not been opened, and I don't think it will be until after the resignalling in July.  The edging looks complete but some work on the rest of the surface remains to be completed:

Not much has been done yet on old platform 9 which has been out of use since Christmas.  This will be platform 10 when it re-opens in July.  As you can see on the left, platform 8 (old number) is now numbered 9 and had its edging renewed before Christmas:

Thursday 11 January 2018

New Timetable

Details of the timetable for Sunday 20 May to Saturday 8 December 2018 have arrived in my database over the last few days, and for the first time in many years we have some major changes on the Northwest Sparks lines.

The new schedules involve a complete re-cast of services all over our area, so it would be too much like hard work to go into details here.  You can see what is intended for your local station on my Open Rail website, just enter your station and a date after 20 May.

I must, as always, warn that the information is very much provisional at this stage.  Network Rail work to a twelve week deadline ("T-12") and all this is outside that limit.  In particular, the rumour mill reports that the Manchester to Preston electrification will not be ready in time, and that the timetable is unworkable without it.  If this turns out to be correct then we can expect major changes to what we are now seeing.

Update Friday 12th:  As usual, the rumour mill was correct.  Manchester - Preston will not be electric in May.  What this means for the timetable changes there, and elsewhere, remains to be seen.

Update 25th February:  All the trains described above have now been deleted from the database, and we await the second version of the new timetable.  The Rail Delivery Group has announced that T-12 will not be met for some services.