Central station open after £20m facelift

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Liverpool Central Station, Ranelagh Street, Liverpool. Photo: Ida Husøy

Liverpool Central Station fully reopened today following its £20m refurbishment, having been shut since April.

The station had been closed to passengers since for almost six months as Merseyrail, Merseytravel and Network Rail worked in conjunction to revamp it.

Although the Wirral Line platform reopened on August 25th, the station is now fully reopen after work on the Northern Line platform, which accounts for 70% of the station’s passengers, was completed.

Both platforms have been re-tiled and ceilings replaced as part of the revamp, and all four escalators have been renewed. On the concourse a clear-glazed glass roof and glass interior walls have been put in, making it a much lighter and brighter area. Staggered entrance and exit barriers have been installed to prevent congestion and a new seating area has been created.

Merseyrail managing director Maarten Spaargaren is pleased with the improvements made to the station.

He told JMU Journalism: “We are absolutely delighted with the improvements. The concourse is fantastic, unrecognisable and now what you would expect of a 21st Century entrance of a station, with so much more light, colour, transparency and great customer facilities. It is a modern station instead of the dark ‘dungeon’ it used to be.”

He added that customer comments have also reflected this: “The Wirral Line has been open since the 25th of August and the customer feedback we have got since then has been overwhelmingly positive. Customers love the new station with more daylight, easier to navigate around and a pleasant environment that just fits with the modern city centre around the station.

One of the newly revamped platforms

Karen Hornby, Network Rail’s Merseyside area manager was as equally impressed. She told JMU Journalism: “I am pleased that the project has been delivered on time and within budget. There are, as with all projects, a few snagging issues that need to be rectified and the project team will be working on these throughout the week.

“I think it has been money well spent. Liverpool Central is now a fantastic station which will encourage more people back into the city centre.

“Passengers have been very patient during the closure. I am sure that they will be impressed by the work that has been carried out to give them more space, better facilities and more natural light on the concourse. I am sure they will enjoy travelling in a more comfortable and attractive environment.”

Liverpool Central is just one of five underground stations on the Merseyrail network to be improved in a £40m programme. James Street, Lime Street (low-level only), Moorfields and Hamilton Square, in Birkenhead, will all see the remaining £20m spent on improvements.

About Jonathan Bridge, JMU Journalism