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Liverpool Central serves the heart of Liverpool, as the name suggests, and is the busiest station on the Merseyrail electrics. The station has a very interesting history. There originally was a Liverpool Central High level station, opened by the Cheshire Lines Committee in 1874. At one time this station offered services to Manchester, Warrington, London Marlyebone, Hull and even Harwich. There was also a local service to gateacre via Hunts Cross.
In 1898 the Mersey Railway (today's Wirral line) extended their route from James Street through new tunnels to Liverpool Central, terminating below high level. After nationalisation in 1948, these two platforms became low level.
In 1972, the loop and link line construction started, and high level closed. By this time it was only offering the Gateacre service, all other routes diverted via the Allerton Curve to Lime Street. The station was demolished, and the tunnel to Brunswick excavated, and new tunnels were dug to met up with the mersey railway over-run tunnels. This, along with new tunnelling to Moorfields, created a cross city Northern Line, allowing trains to proceed to Hunts cross, replacing the old High level service. A new loop line for the wirral line allowed a deeper level platform to be built below what became the Northern Line platforms. The connection through the old tunnel to James Street still remains, but for ECS movements.
More details on the old Liverpool Central High Level can be found on the disused stations website
Railway type and traffic
Liverpool Central has three platforms, 1 & 2 are on the Merseyrail Northern Line, platform 3 (dating from 1978) is on the Wirral Line. Trains to see will be class 507 and 508 EMUs of Merseyrail electrics.
Liverpool Central is underground, so need to worry about the weather. The station is busy at all times, but is covered by CCTV, and there are staff present at all times, so no security issues to worry about.
It is best not to drive to this location. Park out side the city centre, and get a train or bus in.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Liverpool Central map co-ordinates
Car parking is available locally, but is chargable. It would be easier to park outside the city, and get a train or bus in.
Liverpool Central is right in the heart of Liverpool City centre. All amenities are close to hand. In addition, the station is situated in a small shopping arcade, with a Sainsburys local being one of the tenants.
The station has toilets on the concourse, but on the platform side of the ticket barriers. You will face no more than a 5-10 minute walk for all amenities.
Plenty of accomodation will be available to hand, visit Visit Liverpool.com
for more information.
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Liverpool Central general view map
Liverpool Central close up map
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Liverpool Central is an underground station, with stairs, lifts, and escalators from the concourse to all the platforms. Due to it being underground, flash photography and tripods are prohibited.
Trains coming into the Northern Line platforms come in slowly, those on the Wirral loop a bit faster. The rumbling on the tunnel is a useful clue to the approach of a train.
General views - All photographs © Robert Clarke unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Wirral Line Platform
Fig 2 - Looking towards Moorfields
Fig 3 - Looking towards Moorfields
Fig 4 - Looking towards Brunswick
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