Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Lime Street Station
In the early days of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the Liverpool terminus was located at Crown Street, in Edge Hill, officially opened in 1830. Construction of a purpose-built station began in October 1833, the land being purchased from Liverpool Council for £9000. A tunnel was constructed between Edge Hill and the new station (starting in 1832, prior to station construction), and the station was opened to the public in August of 1836, although construction was not completed until the following year. Because of the steep incline between Lime Street and Edge Hill, trains were stopped at Edge Hill, their locomotives removed, and the passenger carriages taken down by gravity, descent controlled by brakemen. The return journey was achieved by using a stationary engine to haul the carriages up with rope.
Within six years, the rapid growth of the railways meant that the original station needed to be extended, and a plan was made to erect an iron roof similar to that found at Euston station in London, ridge roofs supported by iron columns; however, Richard Turner and William Fairburn submitted a design for a single curved roof, which won the approval of the station committee. The work cost £15,000, and was completed in 1849. The station was one of the first to send mail by train. A second roof was added in the 1880s. The North Western Hotel was built in front of the station - this hotel was converted to offices and still stands.
Layout and Future Expansion
Liverpool Lime Street is divided into two main sections — the mainline station, which serves national and local overground services; and the Merseyrail station, located underground, at the foot of St George’s Hall, which serves the Wirral Line.
The mainline station is still covered by the vast iron and glass roofs dating from the 1880s. Platforms 1 to 6 are shorter than 7 to 9, the latter dealing with inter city trains to London. Toilets, booking offices, shops, left luggage office, taxi ranks and coffee bars are amongst the facilities provided.
Train operators running services from Lime Street include:
- Virgin Trains - London
- Central Trains - Manchester, Sheffield, the East Midlands, Birmingham, East Anglia and South Wales.
- TransPennine Express - Manchester, Leeds, and North East England
- First North Western - local services to Manchester, Warrington, Preston, Blackpool, Morecambe and Wigan.
- Merseyrail (Wirral Line - Liverpool Loop) - services to West Kirby, New Brighton, Chester and Ellesmere Port. Access to the Northern Line (serving Hunts Cross, Kirkby, Ormskirk and Southport) is via foot or the Wirral Line to Liverpool Central station.
In line with Liverpool's role as European Capital of Culture in 2008, and the city's 700th anniversary in 2007, the station and its immediate surroundings will receive a £35 million redevelopment. The Lime Street Gateway Project will see the current retail parade and office block in front of the station demolished, and an improved frontage and public plaza built. The development will be overseen by English Partnerships.
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