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Follow Us. The i newsletter latest news and analysis. Email address is invalid Email address is invalid Thank you for subscribing! Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription. Sport Cycling Tour of Britain route: stage 8 map, full race dates and where to watch today This the year the 1,km race finishes in Manchester. By Alina Polianskaya. Cycling Sport. In the decades following the commissioning of the resulting cut down rapid-transit network, political moves were made to complete the full project, to fully incorporate the City Line into the network, however to no avail.
In preparation for the full integration of the City Line into the network, the name was maintained with Merseytravel sponsoring the stations that are inside Merseyside, complete with Merseyrail branding. The major engineering works required to integrate the Northern and Wirral lines became known as the 'Loop' and 'Link' Project, consisting of two tunnels.
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The main works were undertaken between and A further project, known as the Edge Hill Spur, would have integrated the City Lines into the city centre underground network. This would have meshed the eastern section of the city into the core underground city centre section of the electric network, releasing platforms at mainline Lime Street station for mid to long haul routes. The Edge Hill Spur was not completed due to budget cuts. The Loop Line is a single-track loop tunnel under Liverpool's city centre serving the Wirral Line branches. It was built to allow both greater capacity and a wider choice of destinations for Wirral Line users, which included the business and shopping districts of Liverpool city centre and mainline Lime Street station.
The loop extension offered direct mainline station access to Wirral residents after the decommissioning of the mainline Woodside terminal station in Birkenhead. The loop tunnel gave interchanges for passengers of the Wirral Line to the Northern line at Moorfields and Central stations. The purpose of the Link Tunnel was to link the separate urban lines north and south of the city creating a continuous north—south crossrail, called the Northern Line.
A substantial section of the Northern Line had an additional function in completing the western section of a planned double-track electrified suburban orbital line, circling the city's outer suburbs, known as the 'Outer Rail Loop'. However, the eastern section of the Outer Rail Loop was never built due to budget cuts.
The Link Line tunnel is a double-track tunnel that links two lines.
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One line running south from the city centre to Hunts Cross with the second line running north from the city centre to Southport, and the branches off this line to Ormskirk and Kirkby. One continuous line would be created, the Northern Line. The line provides direct access from the north and south of Liverpool to the shopping and business districts in the city centre via two underground stations, Liverpool Central and Moorfields, both of which also interchange with the Loop Line, which is an extension of the Wirral Line.
The Northern Line effectively creates a north—south crossrail enabling passengers to travel from the south to the north of the city, and vice versa, via Liverpool city centre. A section of the original s tunnel between James Street and Central stations was used to form the Link Tunnel. The remainder, between Paradise Street Junction and Derby Square Junction, was retained for use as a rolling stock interchange line between the Northern and Wirral lines and also for a reversing siding for Wirral Line trains terminating at James Street when the Loop Tunnel is inoperative. The rolling stock interchange section of the tunnel is not used for passenger traffic.
A burrowing junction was constructed at Birkenhead Hamilton Square station , to increase traffic capacity on the Wirral Line by eliminating the flat junction to the west of the station. This layout permitted the former Mersey Railway route to be connected to the former Cheshire Lines Committee route from the closed Central High Level Station and so allow the Northern Line to be extended in a southerly direction to Garston and, later, Hunts Cross. It was accomplished by excavating the trackbed of the high-level tunnel to connect the two routes by means of a gradient.
As it was still necessary to accommodate a reversing siding to serve Central Low Level, and as the width of the high-level tunnel did not permit a three-track alignment, a new section of single-track tunnel was built for the Central to Garston line.
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This tunnel starts to the south of the station and rises to join the high-level tunnel. At the time of construction, the opportunity was taken to construct two short header tunnels for the proposed Edge Hill Spur project see below. Should the project go ahead, the connecting tunnels could be constructed without the need to obstruct rail services on the existing route. The junction arrangement would be a burrowing junction, as at Hamilton Square see above , with the grade separation of tracks increasing capacity.
The Loop and Link project was followed by a programme of expansion, electrification and new stations, which built on the greater integration and capacity provided by the new infrastructure. On 30 April , Liverpool Exchange terminus station was closed as a part of the Link tunnel project to create the electrified Merseyrail north-south crossrail line named the Northern Line.
A tunnel under Liverpool's city centre, the Link tunnel, created the through crossrail Northern Line.
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The nearby Moorfields underground through station located on the new Line Link tunnel, serving the Northern and Wirral Lines, replaced Liverpool Exchange terminus station. Since diesel trains could not operate in the underground stations and tunnels for safety reasons, trains that had terminated at Liverpool Exchange terminus from Wigan Wallgate were terminated at Sandhills station as a temporary measure, which is the last surface station before the tunnel. A year later in , the short line electrification from Walton to Kirkby extended the Merseyrail network, creating a Northern Line branch terminus and interchange station at Kirkby.
The line was electrified using the standard V DC third-rail Merseyrail system. The northern Liverpool to Manchester route was cut into two with differing modes of traction, electric and diesel. The diesel Wigan service terminating at Sandhills station was cut back to Kirkby. The Merseyrail electric and the Northern Rail diesel services use opposite ends of the same platform at Kirkby.
Merseyrail and Northern Rail trains are generally timed to meet for ease of interchange. In the Northern Line extending south from Liverpool Central Station to Garston was made possible by inclining the tunnel into Central High Level from Garston to run down into the lower level tunnel entering Central Low Level from the opposite end of the station forming one continuous tunnel. The linking of the two tunnels had been envisaged when the Mersey Railway was extended to Central from James Street in the s, with the Mersey Railway ensuring the two tunnels were on the same alignment.
The diesel hauled line from Liverpool Central High Level to Gateacre in the south of the city was abandoned in On reopening under the Merseyrail brand, the electrified line never reached Gateacre as it once did, terminating three stations towards the city centre at Garston. This short extension of electrified Merseyrail line at the southern end of the Northern Line opened in The reopened line passed under the West Coast Main Line Liverpool branch at Allerton but needed to cross the old Cheshire Lines Committee line to Manchester on the flat, which affected capacity.
Rock Ferry railway station had been a terminus for Wirral Line services since the Mersey Railway was extended there from Green Lane in Passengers for the lines to Chester and Helsby would change trains at this station from the electric service on to mainline services, operated by steam and diesel. Rock Ferry became one of the terminals for the Merseyrail Wirral Line.
In the line from Rock Ferry to Hooton was electrified and incorporated in the Wirral Line of Merseyrail, Hooton thus becoming a new terminus. Hooton is a junction station where the line to Helsby via Ellesmere Port branches off the main Chester line. The line from Hooton to Chester was electrified in , Chester thus becoming a terminus station of the Wirral Line.
The line from Hooton to Ellesmere Port was electrified in and incorporated into the Wirral Line, Ellesmere Port thus also becoming a terminus and interchange station. A programme of new stations on the Merseyrail network expanded the coverage of the system. They are as follows:. There have been various suggestions for ways to enlarge the Merseyrail network. In November the details of the next phase of the Merseyrail fleet were announced: if trains capable of use beyond the third-rail DC network are selected as replacements, various expansions can be achieved without electrification of the entire new route.
The currently disused St James railway station is located on the corner of St. The station saw little use being the next station to Liverpool Central high-level terminus station. The station is in a deep cutting on the operational crossrail Northern Line tunnel section between Liverpool Central Station and Brunswick Station. Being on a well connected crossrail line the station now gives greater appeal for passenger usage than in A new station at Headbolt Lane north east of Kirkby was first proposed in the s, however a later proposed plan in failed to receive funding.
In its year plan of Merseytravel mentions the possibility of a new station between Moorfields and Sandhills in the Vauxhall area. In August , it was reported that a new tram-train link to Liverpool John Lennon Airport and a link to Kings Dock from the east of the city had been proposed. Many proposals to electrify lines adding them to the existing Merseyrail network have been proposed.
However, in the Department for Transport announced that electrification of lines in Britain will only be where necessary with some planned projects cancelled. Bi-modal trains with combinations of battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell and diesel engines are the preferred options.
In , the Liverpool to Kirkby section of the Liverpool-to-Bolton route was electrified being merged into Merseyrail. Kirkby became the terminus of the Northern Line Kirkby branch. The former through service to Bolton was split in two, with passengers wanting to make through journeys having to change at Kirkby from the Merseyrail electric network to the Northern Rail diesel network onwards to Bolton. The electrification extending Merseyrail through to Wigan Wallgate was a long-term aspiration of Merseytravel in being identified by Network Rail as a route where electrification would enable new patterns of passenger service to operate.
Electrification from Ormskirk to Preston has been considered in conjunction with the Burscough Curves reopening detailed below. It would re-establish the most direct Liverpool-Preston route and is one of Merseytravel's long-term aspirations. The north—south aligned Borderlands Line from Bidston south to Wrexham Central is operated by Transport for Wales using diesel trains on unelectrified track. There have been various proposals to electrify some or all of the line over the years. The most recent study, conducted by Network Rail in , investigated the costs of extending the Merseyrail network third-rail electrification to Wrexham.
This would require dual-voltage trains with third-rail and overhead-wire capability. In March , the introduction of battery powered trains was proposed for the Borderlands line by Network Rail. From the document:.