New images show Liverpool Central vision

New images show how Liverpool Central station could look if a proposed transformation becomes a reality with a new hub offering trains to Manchester Airport taking just 25 minutes. Tony McDonough reports

Liverpool Central
Image showing the proposed transformation of Liverpool Central station


New images reveal how a planned transformation of Liverpool Central station could look.

And this new multi-million pound hub may include a high-speed link between Liverpool and Greater Manchester with trains between Central and Manchester Airport taking just 25 minutes. There could also be a tunnel linking Central with Lime Street station.

In March LBN revealed the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (CA) was inviting consultants to apply for a £1m contract to develop a masterplan for the 150-year-old station.

This plan will comprise two elements: ideas on addressing rail capacity issues at what is one of the busiest underground stations outside London and a regeneration vision for the station itself and the area around it.

On Wednesday the CA released new images of how the revamped Central Station could look. Along with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, it is establishing a new Liverpool-Manchester Railway Board to push forward with the plans.

There have been “positive talks” with rail minister Huw Merriman around the new vision that would also include plans for an underground station at Manchester Piccadilly. It is believed as much as £17bn may be on the table following the scrapping of HS2.

Both the CA and Liverpool City Council see Liverpool Central, which has its main entrance on Ranelagh Street, as a major gateway between the retail core of the city centre and the fast-growing Knowledge Quarter.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Liam Robinson, said: “For Liverpool and the North West to truly realise our economic potential, we need a new age of the train – with a focus on investment in infrastructure.

“The benefit of a better connection between Liverpool and Manchester would not only supercharge our economies, the impact would be felt throughout the UK. This region gave birth to the era of customer train journeys. It’s time we upgraded for the 21st century.”

Once the contract is awarded the CA will task the consultants with creating a regeneration strategy for Liverpool’s Central Gateway area and identifying the “most appropriate” delivery and funding models for upgrading the station.


Liverpool Central
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is paying £1m for a masterplan
Liverpool Central
Liverpool Central station is considered to be a major gateway
Liverpool Central
Image showing the proposed transformation of Liverpool Central station


Central Station itself is owned and operated by Network Rail, as are all the stations, infrastructure and land on the Merseyrail network. There is a possibility the CA could take full control of the network.

While this is not essential for the Central Station transformation project to go ahead, it would likely make the logistics and decision-making more straightforward.

Network Rail owns the station itself and the connecting shopping mall is actually owned by Liverpool City Council.

The city council acquired Central Shopping Centre in a deal believed to be worth up to £17m back in 2018. The estate comprises 17 retail units and at that time was generating a total income of £860,000 a year.

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