- Northern Line (Merseyrail)
Northern Line (Merseyrail)
A Northern Line Class 507 at Liverpool Central.
Overview System National Rail Status Operational Locale Liverpool
North West England
Operation Owner Network Rail Operator(s) Merseyrail Rolling stock British Rail Class 507
British Rail Class 508
Technical Track gauge Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
The Northern Line is one of the two commuter rail lines operated by Merseyrail in Merseyside, England. The other line is the Wirral Line. A third line of the Merseyrail Network, the City Line, is not owned or operated by Merseyrail, although funded by Merseytravel.
The Northern Line passes underground through Liverpool city centre and has four termini at:
The line runs from Hunts Cross via the former Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) route towards Liverpool Central. Brunswick station between St Michaels and Liverpool Central was added in 1998 to provide a connection to the Brunswick Business Park. Just south of Liverpool Central, the line leaves the CLC route (which is in tunnel at that point) into a 1970s tunnel which drops the tunnel to a lower level, running into the former underground Mersey Railway Liverpool Central (Low Level) station. North of Central Station the line uses the former Mersey Railway tunnel for about half of the route to the next station, Moorfields, a new underground station built in the 1970s to replace the surface-level Liverpool Exchange. North of Moorfields station, the route emerges from the tunnel to join the former Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway lines from Exchange station.
After the next station, Sandhills, the former Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway line branches off towards Southport, while the other routes continue to Kirkdale on what was a joint section of track between Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway and the Liverpool and Bury Railway. After Kirkdale, the Ormskirk and Kirkby lines diverge.
Trains from Hunts Cross continue to Southport, while trains to Ormskirk and Kirkby start at Liverpool Central station. Daytime trains operate every 15 minutes on each of the three routes (Monday to Saturday) and every 30 minutes on Sundays, except in the summer months when Sunday frequencies on the Southport - Hunts Cross route are increased to every 15 minutes. On the same route, the frequency is as little as every 8 minutes during peak hours. Trains on the Southport - Hunts Cross and Ormskirk - Liverpool Central routes are increased to 6 carriages during peak hours. Weekend services during the summer on the Southport route are 6 carriages all day.
- The section of line from the old Liverpool Exchange Station to Southport on to Crossens and Meols Cop, was the first section to be electrified in 1904.
- The branch to Aintree, on the current Northern Line Ormskirk branch, followed in 1906, being extended to Ormskirk in 1913.
- The Kirkby branch and the line south of Liverpool as far as Garston were electrified to coincide with the construction of the Link Tunnel creating Merseyrail in 1978.
- Electrification was cut back to Southport in the north in 1978.
- The section from Garston to Hunts Cross was electrified in 1983, making Hunts Cross the southern terminal station.
Interchange with the Wirral Line is available at Liverpool Central and Moorfields stations. As the Northern Line does not pass through Liverpool's mainline station, Liverpool Lime Street, passengers must use the Wirral Line as a connection. In practice, given the relatively short distance between Liverpool Central and Liverpool Lime Street stations, many prefer to walk. Using the Wirral Line as a connection from Liverpool Central to Liverpool Lime Street requires passengers to change at James Street station. This is the only station on the Loop with two Wirral Line platforms, one coming into Liverpool and out going out.
Interchange with other National Rail services can be made at Southport, Ormskirk, Kirkby, Liverpool South Parkway and Hunts Cross.
Merseyrail Northern Line Stations Southport - Hunts Cross BranchHunts Cross • Liverpool South Parkway • Cressington • Aigburth • St Michaels • Brunswick • Liverpool Central • Moorfields • Sandhills • Bank Hall • Bootle Oriel Road • Bootle New Strand • Seaforth & Litherland • Waterloo • Blundellsands & Crosby • Hall Road • Hightown • Formby • Freshfield • Ainsdale • Hillside • Birkdale • Southport Ormskirk Branch Kirkby Branch
This list is incomplete.
- Churchtown (Southport-Crossens branch)
- Crossens (Southport-Crossens branch)
- Ford (North Mersey Branch)
- Garston (Closed 10 June 2006; replaced by Liverpool South Parkway)
- Hesketh Park (Southport-Crossens branch)
- Linacre Road  (North Mersey Branch).
- Liverpool Exchange (1850-1977: Southport/Kirkby/Ormskirk branches)
- Meols Cop (Still open, but no longer part of the Northern Line: Manchester and Southport Railway)
- Otterspool (Closed 1951)
- St James' (Closed 1917)
- ^ Merseyrail - A brief History, merseytravel.gov.uk, http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/pdf/history_Merseyrail.pdf, retrieved 2009-01-04
Railway lines in the North West Primary LocalBlackpool Branch Lines · Borderlands Line · Buxton Line · Caldervale Line · Chester to Manchester Line · Crewe-Derby Line · Crewe-Manchester Line · Cumbrian Coast Line · East Lancashire Line · Ellesmere Port to Warrington Line · Furness Line · Glossop Line · Hope Valley Line · Huddersfield Line · Kirkby Branch Line · Leeds to Morecambe Line · Liverpool to Manchester Lines · Liverpool to Wigan Line · Manchester to Preston Line · Manchester to Southport Line · Mid-Cheshire Line · Morecambe Branch Line · Newcastle and Carlisle Railway · Northern Line (Merseyrail) · Ormskirk Branch Line · Ribble Valley Line · Settle-Carlisle Line · Stafford-Manchester Line · Stockport to Stalybridge Line · Styal Line · Windermere Branch Line · Wirral Line
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