Can Liverpool Lime Street expand?

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Class185

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I have been to Liverpool Lime Street today and was looking at the actual structure and tracks that lead to the station.

With a possible new service to Newcastle, talk of scotland services (distant future), and who knows what in the future, would they be able to add new platforms/more tracks? The bridges leading to the station look like they would prevent any/all expansion plans should it be discussed or required.
 
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exile

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The taxi rank/car setdown/pickup area occupies an area which once provided two extra platforms.

If the station was rebuilt with narrow platforms a number of extra ones could be fitted in but that seems extremely unlikely.
 

DavidL

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Just out of interest - to any signallers or others in the know - is platform capacity a significant issue at Lime St, or is the Edge Hill-Lime St capacity?

I ask from the ignorance of a passenger; I notice that when we're often held in the cuttings outside Lime St, when we finally do enter the station, there can often be 2/3 platforms vacant or most platforms with only a single unit in. This suggests that it's not so much a shortage of platform capacity : (I guess we were being held to allow some conflicting movement resolve, rather than waiting for a platform itself?)

I appreciate that as/when trains get lengthened, platform space itself may be more of an issue, but I would guess that the significant capacity issue is getting the 9 or so platform lines into the 4 or so exit/entry lines?

-David
 

exile

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Just out of interest - to any signallers or others in the know - is platform capacity a significant issue at Lime St, or is the Edge Hill-Lime St capacity?

I ask from the ignorance of a passenger; I notice that when we're often held in the cuttings outside Lime St, when we finally do enter the station, there can often be 2/3 platforms vacant or most platforms with only a single unit in. This suggests that it's not so much a shortage of platform capacity : (I guess we were being held to allow some conflicting movement resolve, rather than waiting for a platform itself?)

I appreciate that as/when trains get lengthened, platform space itself may be more of an issue, but I would guess that the significant capacity issue is getting the 9 or so platform lines into the 4 or so exit/entry lines?

-David
The gap between trains on a single line out of Lime St is about 3 minutes so the theoretical capacity is 20 x 2 = 40 per hour in each direction and the actual frequency is around 14 per hour so that isn't a limiting factor. The reason there are not more trains (and to be honest most of them are only 2 coaches and those are rarely full) is that the market is not there.
 

MidnightFlyer

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I notice that when we're often held in the cuttings outside Lime St, when we finally do enter the station, there can often be 2/3 platforms vacant or most platforms with only a single unit in. This suggests that it's not so much a shortage of platform capacity : (I guess we were being held to allow some conflicting movement resolve, rather than waiting for a platform itself?)
That's usually the case. If you are arriving from the Slows, it's fine saying that there are platforms free, but if they are 7 and 9 then you have to block several platforms and lines in order to get there (and on the way back out too), which will inevitably disrupt a couple of services. A lot of timetables have time built in at the end to cover this anyway.
 

John55

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That's usually the case. If you are arriving from the Slows, it's fine saying that there are platforms free, but if they are 7 and 9 then you have to block several platforms and lines in order to get there (and on the way back out too), which will inevitably disrupt a couple of services. A lot of timetables have time built in at the end to cover this anyway.
The layout at Lime St is poor. A departure from P2 for example prevents any movement in or out of 1, 3 or 4. I think action to overcome that problem may well require shortening of some platforms.
 

Joseph_Locke

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The layout at Lime St is poor. A departure from P2 for example prevents any movement in or out of 1, 3 or 4. I think action to overcome that problem may well require shortening of some platforms.
In the case of the last comment, this may not be too much of an issue.

[stn]LST[/stn] has in its future the spectre of being three (possibly even four) stations in one. These are one for the WCML services, possibly one for the HS2 Compatibles, one for the CLC services and one for Chat Moss and Wigan trains.

The first two have an obvious home: platforms 7, 8 and 9

Assuming the WCML and Hs2 services stay on the Fast lines, then a bit of extra S&C between Crown Street and Mount Pleasant brings that under-used centre backing-out line into use as a bi-di line for these CLCs into and out of 5 and 6.

This leaves 1 - 4 for the Chat Moss and St Helens trains.

As I commented earlier, I reckon that by doing away with the centre sidings A-D you'd probably get two more platform faces in the main shed, and you could then have a long look at whether E line in the side side could be re-instated as a platform by narrowing the 7/8 island a bit.

Make the current Up Fast and Down Slow bi-di too and Bob's yer auntie.

On a side note, the resignalling of this area is due for 2019, I believe...
 
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John55

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In the case of the last comment, this may not be too much of an issue.

LST has in its future the spectre of being three (possibly even four) stations in one. These are one for the WCML services, possibly one for the HS2 Compatibles, one for the CLC services and one for Chat Moss and Wigan trains.

The first two have an obvious home: platforms 7, 8 and 9

Assuming the WCML and Hs2 services stay on the Fast lines, then a bit of extra S&C between Crown Street and Mount Pleasant brings that under-used centre backing-out line into use as a bi-di line for these CLCs into and out of 5 and 6.

This leaves 1 - 4 for the Chat Moss and St Helens trains.

As I commented earlier, I reckon that by doing away with the centre sidings A-D you'd probably get two more platform faces in the main shed, and you could then have a long look at whether E line in the side side could be re-instated as a platform by narrowing the 7/8 island a bit.

Make the current Up Fast and Down Slow bi-di too and Bob's yer auntie.

On a side note, the resignalling of this area is due for 2019, I believe...
I think providing an acceptable width and length for a new platform where the disused siding next to P7 (E line?) is would require demolition of the structure holding up the road bridges. Moving P7 over to make room would make the cutting end of that platform very narrow. It might actually be easier to put a new platform between 7 & 8 extending the line which was used for loading cars I think which has now gone.

Putting 8 platforms under the north train shed might require a mix of longer and shorter platforms but is probably unnecessary if a good flexible layout is installed and double or triple stacking of trains on the same platform is avoided.
 

stockport1

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platform 6 is quite narrow esp. in peak hours. id agree with removing the centre lines to provide 1 more platform and increase the platform width for general safety.

platforms 1-4 are much longer that current purpose requires i think and shortening to improve track layout would not cause a hinderance to current services i think.
 

ukrob

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Platforms 1-5 frequently hold 2x2 car units throughout the day. This could be 2x4 car after electrification - shortening them is not a suitable option.
 

exile

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Platforms 1-5 frequently hold 2x2 car units throughout the day. This could be 2x4 car after electrification - shortening them is not a suitable option.
But most of the trains run more or less empty except for 4 hours a day!
 

ukrob

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But most of the trains run more or less empty except for 4 hours a day!
a) irrelevant to my point.
b) that explains why many local services are standing room only off peak.

I don't believe for a minute you know what you are talking about.
 

Bevan Price

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Lime Street used to have more platforms. Looking away from the buffer stops end of the station, there was a short bay to the left of current platform 1. It held little more than a loco and 2 or 3 coaches, and was rarely used for passenger services, although I have departed from there on a 2 coach push-pull set (or later a 2 car dmu) going to St. Helens. On the right of platform 9, there used to be platforms 10 & 11, in the area now occupied by the roadway next to Platform 9. Doubtless these platforms could be rebuilt / reinstated if necessary, but they would be too short to accept a Pendolino. In fact the main capacity limitation is probably pathing over the crossings between Lime St. & Edge Hill, rather than Lime St itself.
 

stockport1

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Platforms 1-5 frequently hold 2x2 car units throughout the day. This could be 2x4 car after electrification - shortening them is not a suitable option.
my bad. i thought they could hold 8 cars comfortably and a little shortening could be catered for.

Stll i feel some platforms are too narrow esp. P6. to the point of being a hazard.??? any one else hold this opinion?
 

Bevan Price

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Platform 2 is too short even for 3 x 2 car Class 156 units. The only time I saw them try this, the rear door was off the end of the platform, and passengers had to walk forward to leave the train.
 

John55

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Platform 2 is too short even for 3 x 2 car Class 156 units. The only time I saw them try this, the rear door was off the end of the platform, and passengers had to walk forward to leave the train.
I was standing on platforms 2/3 at Lime St yesterday and the platforms are plenty long enough for 6 x 23m coaches. Are you sure it wasn't 8 x 20/23m coaches which gave the problem you describe?

I witnessed an attempt to berth 10 DMU vehicles on platform 1 last year which didn't go well. Ironic given that "Lime St control" is supposed to prevent that sort of thing happening.
 

Bevan Price

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I was standing on platforms 2/3 at Lime St yesterday and the platforms are plenty long enough for 6 x 23m coaches. Are you sure it wasn't 8 x 20/23m coaches which gave the problem you describe?
Possibly, or maybe it was platform 4 that had the problem. It was a year or two ago, one Sunday morning, and I was on a 4 car 156 formation that entered a platform with at least one unit already parked on the buffer stops.
 
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ukrob

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Definitely all long enough for 6 cars. Platform 3 might struggle for 8 though off the top of my head.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Lime Street used to have more platforms. Looking away from the buffer stops end of the station, there was a short bay to the left of current platform 1. It held little more than a loco and 2 or 3 coaches, and was rarely used for passenger services.
I think that particular area would be totally unsuitable for the services that would be required to use it, in this day and age.
 

PR1Berske

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If nothing else happens at Lime Street, can they please put departure screens in the White Star pub, or at least opposite the windows.

Such basic things to overlook!
 

Pumbaa

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Definitely all long enough for 6 cars. Platform 3 might struggle for 8 though off the top of my head.
I've seen 8 in P3, but they were 142/150 combos both of them. May struggle for 8 x 23m maybe? I should mentioned it was a stabling berth, so it's not indicative of if it's permitted as an everyday move. It at least demonstrates it won't foul the starter.

To this day I remain confused as to why they didn't reinstate the E line next to P7, and create an additional express platform when they were redeveloping the concourse. Arguably it would have been the easiest and cheapest platform to reinstate. Off-peak it's okay, but at peak time I doubt anyone has any idea where EMT/LM/TPE services depart from due to platform constraints.
 

John55

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I've seen 8 in P3, but they were 142/150 combos both of them. May struggle for 8 x 23m maybe? I should mentioned it was a stabling berth, so it's not indicative of if it's permitted as an everyday move. It at least demonstrates it won't foul the starter.

To this day I remain confused as to why they didn't reinstate the E line next to P7, and create an additional express platform when they were redeveloping the concourse. Arguably it would have been the easiest and cheapest platform to reinstate. Off-peak it's okay, but at peak time I doubt anyone has any idea where EMT/LM/TPE services depart from due to platform constraints.
This was mentioned earlier. To provide a long platform where siding E is would require the track along platform 7 to be moved at least 2.5m southwards towards platform 8 to provide platform width. The cutting end of platform 7 isn't wide enough to allow that so creating a new long platform would require the removal of platform 7.

In order to provide space for the current platform 7 to remain (but 2.5m to the south) the large structure holding up the bridges across the station would have to be removed.
 

ukrob

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And platform 7 needs all it's length now. 11 car 390107 worked the 11.48 to Euston today.
 

lfc84

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a passenger question....

if i recall correctly in between platforms there are 3 tracks. the outer two for platform access but whats the centre one for? if it didnt exist everything could be mvoed along to create another platform or wider platform 6
 
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ole man

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The current layout on the way in to Lime street, such as the croosovers in the tunnels are getting ripped out and moved nearer Edge Hill.
 

Bevan Price

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a passenger question....

if i recall correctly in between platforms there are 3 tracks. the outer two for platform access but whats the centre one for? if it didnt exist everything could be mvoed along to create another platform or wider platform 6
In days gone by, they were used to stable coaches and/or to park steam locos waiting for their next duty. Moving the current platforms might be feasible, but expensive and would disrupt station working for months.
 
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