Work starts on £80m Merseyrail station

Construction is under way on a new train station for the Merseyrail network in a project costing £80m. Tony McDonough reports

Work starts on the Merseyrail Headbolt Lane station in Kirkby


Work has started on the construction of a new Merseyrail station at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby.

Knowsley Council gave planning consent for the new station in December. It is due to open in 2023. Trains calling at the station will use battery power which means there will be no need to extend the electrified third rail beyond the current Kirkby station.

Additional works will also be taking place to install new bridges and widen the embankment of the line between Kirkby and the new station over the coming months. The plans also include:

  • Step-free access throughout the station.
  • A bus interchange.
  • Cycle storage.
  • Links to active travel networks.
  • Passenger waiting facilities and toilets.
  • Approximately 300 park and ride spaces.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has just invested £500m in a new 52-strong train fleet which it is hoped will come into service this year. Trials of the new trains included tests on using batteries rather than the electrified third rail. This offers the scope to extend the Merseyrail network at a lower cost.

READ MORE: Battery breakthrough will see Merseyrail network extended

READ MORE: First look at proposed Baltic Triangle station

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “As a Kirkby native, I’ve heard talk about a new station coming to Headbolt Lane for as long as I can remember. Thanks to devolution, with more decisions being taken locally, we are finally going to make it a reality.

“In the last few years, working alongside Cllr Graham Morgan and Knowsley Council, we’re delivering something of a renaissance for Kirkby after decades of private sector failure. From tens of millions of pounds invested into the Townie, to the construction of this new station, we’re giving local people a place to be proud of once again.

“The new station is another step on our journey towards my ambition of building a London-style transport system for our region. I want to make getting around as quick, cheap, clean and reliable wherever you live.

The full scheme includes the extension of the Merseyrail network beyond the existing Kirkby station and will see Merseyrail services run into the new station. Northern services from Wigan and Manchester will also operate to and from the new three-platform station.


One of the new Merseyrail trains fitted with a battery


Residents will have a chance to speak to members of the project team about the scheme at a public drop-in event next week. This will take place on Thursday, March 17, from 4pm to 7pm at Centre 63 on Old Hall Lane in Kirkby.

The scheme is being delivered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in partnership with Knowsley Council, Network Rail, Merseyrail and Northern. Funding for the scheme has come from the Transforming Cities Fund.

It is also designed to support future plans to build a new rail link to Skelmersdale, on which the Combined Authority is working closely with Lancashire County Council, West Lancashire Borough Council and Network Rail to support.

Suzanne Grant, commercial director at Merseyrail, added: “It is fantastic to see work begin at Headbolt Lane station as we make steps towards connecting more people within the Liverpool City Region by extending the Merseyrail network.

“Working in partnership to deliver a railway that our communities can be proud of is our key objective and extending the network to serve new areas is key to this. We are incredibly excited to begin to serve customers at Headbolt Lane when the station opens in 2023.”

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