On the 10 October 2017, the first of many signals supplied by Unipart Dorman were entered into service as part of the ongoing project in the first major upgrade to Liverpool Lime Street Station in over 100 years to accommodate an increasing number of passengers.
The two temporary iLS signals which are mounted Unipart Dorman's revolutionary Assisted Lift Trunnion were installed in order to run a bi-directional service into Platforms 1 and 2, for the remainder of the engineering works on the line. This improved the efficiency of the station during the closure period by enabling the lines to remain in use where possible. Although the signals in place initially were temporary, the project itself includes other LED Signals from Unipart Dorman such as the CLSLite and Classic Route Indicators.
The project will also see a further two iLS signals being supplied to Siemens Rail Automation Holdings Limited. The upgrade to the iLS will not only provide better optics and a zero maintenance solution, but also offers a much longer and more predictable service life. In turn, this will improve the safety of the line for both the public and travelling passengers, as well as contributing to the provision of a more reliable and frequent service throughout the station.
The project itself is being completed in two phases, the first of which ran from the September 30 to October 22. The upgrade will provide an additional three services per hour in and out of the station, one of which being a direct service to Scotland; as well as larger, better managed platforms and a re-modelled concourse with engineers replacing almost 2,000m of track.
The engineering works alone are part of more than £1 billion of rail infrastructure upgrades across the region. Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s London North Western Route Managing Director, Liverpool City Region, stated that the upgrades were “vital to boost the local economy and transform train travel for passengers. As part of the Great North Rail Project, the Liverpool Lime Street project will enable faster, more frequent and reliable train services to run in and out of the station by 2019.”
The works to improve the station continued during Christmas 2017, and the final phase is scheduled to commence in summer 2018. The additional services will become operational in December 2018 and will include further signalling upgrades, as well as transferring the operation of the railway to a purpose-built, modern signalling centre in Manchester.