Northern Line (Merseyrail)

Northern Line (Merseyrail)
Northern Line (Merseyrail)

A Northern Line Class 507 at Liverpool Central.
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Liverpool
North West England
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Merseyrail
Rolling stock British Rail Class 507
British Rail Class 508
Track gauge Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Merseyrail Map. The Northern Line is in blue
[v · d · e]Northern Line
Continuation backward
Preston to Ormskirk Line
Transverse terminus from left Unknown BSicon "ABZ3lg" Transverse abbreviated in this map Unknown BSicon "KRZo" Continuation to right
to Manchester
Straight track Abbreviated in this map
Stop on track Unknown BSicon "KBHFxe"
Straight track Unknown BSicon "KBHFxa"
(Divided Platform)
Stop on track Stop on track
Aughton Park
Stop on track Stop on track
Town Green
Stop on track Stop on track
Straight track Unknown BSicon "AKRZ-UKu"
Straight track Unknown BSicon "AKRZ-UKu"
Stop on track Stop on track
Old Roan
Stop on track Stop on track
Hall Road
Stop on track Stop on track
Orrell Park
Blundellsands & Crosby
Stop on track Stop on track
Stop on track Straight track Continuation backward
Kirkby to Wigan Line
Seaforth & Litherland
Stop on track Straight track Station on track
Bootle New Strand
Stop on track Straight track Stop on track
Bootle Oriel Road
Stop on track Straight track Stop on track
Rice Lane
Bank Hall
Stop on track Junction from left Track turning right
Straight track Stop on track Non-passenger head station
Kirkdale TMD
Straight track Junction from left Track turning right
Junction from left Transverse track Track turning right
Stop on track
Enter tunnel
Unknown BSicon "tCONTr" Unknown BSicon "tTBHFt" Unknown BSicon "tSTRlg"
For Wirral Line
Liverpool Lime Street
Unknown BSicon "tSTR" Unknown BSicon "tBHF"
(Wirral Line only)
Liverpool Central
Unknown BSicon "tCONTr" Unknown BSicon "tTBHFt" Unknown BSicon "tSTRrf"
For Wirral Line
Exit tunnel
Saint James
Unknown BSicon "eHST"
Stop on track
St Michaels
Stop on track
Stop on track
Stop on track
Garston (Merseyside)
Unknown BSicon "eHST"
City Line
Straight track Continuation backward
Liverpool South Parkway
Right side of cross-platform interchange Left side of cross-platform interchange
Junction from left Track turning right
Hunts Cross
Station on track
City Line
Continuation forward

The Northern Line is one of the two commuter rail lines operated[1] 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 Northern Line is electrified using a 750V DC third rail.

  • 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.

The new Liverpool South Parkway station opened on 11 June 2006, replacing Garston station and providing connections to the City Line formerly available at Allerton.


Former stations

This list is incomplete.

See also


External links

Coordinates: 53°24′16″N 2°58′47″W / 53.4045°N 2.9798°W / 53.4045; -2.9798

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