- Liverpool to Wigan Line
Liverpool to Wigan Line Overview System National Rail Status Operational Locale Liverpool
North West England
Operation Owner Network Rail Technical Track gauge Standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) Route mapLegend Liverpool to Wigan LineLegend
The route follows part of the Northern section of the Liverpool to Manchester line up to Huyton Junction; where it deviates, routing via Prescot and St Helens Central to Ince Moss and St Helens Line Junctions. Here, the line joins the West Coast Main Line near Springs Branch and runs onto Wigan North Western.
The route sees service from three passenger trains per hour (tph) in both directions between Liverpool and Wigan, usually operated by Northern Rail Class 142, Class 150, or Class 156 DMUs. The 3tph frequency includes two local stopping services and one longer distance express. The longer distance service usually continues to Blackpool North and operates a limited stop service of Huyton, St Helens Central and Wigan in the Liverpool to Wigan leg of its journey. For local passenger transport, the route is branded as a significant section of one of Merseytravel's City Line routes.
In December 2009, the then Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, announced that the line between Huyton and St Helens Line Junctions will also be electrified along with the previously committed Edge Hill to Huyton Junction infill on the Liverpool to Manchester line, as part of a £200 million rail electrification scheme. Despite speculation that the electrification project would be shelved under the following coalition government's spending cuts ; in October 2010, the coalition chancellor George Osborne, confirmed the project would still go ahead .
This work, in conjunction with the previously-announced Liverpool to Manchester line electrification would electrify the entire Liverpool to Wigan route. Additionally, considering currently-operated services; in conjunction with other infill electrification projects announced, this will allow electric trains to operate from Liverpool to St Helens, Wigan, Preston and Blackpool .
Merseytravel (One of the two PTEs on the route) had previously stated their aspirations for the St Helens infill electrification; considering it a necessary addition to the (then-proposed) Liverpool to Manchester electrification, given the interworking of passenger services between the Chat Moss (Liverpool to Manchester) and St Helens (Liverpool to Wigan) lines imposed by the December 2008 timetable .
- Liverpool Lime Street, Western terminus, here it is possible to interchange onto services to the Wirral. On leaving Lime Street, the trains pass through the Lime Street tunnels
- Edge Hill, for inner city districts of Edge Hill, Kensington and Toxteth.
- Here is Edge Hill Junction, where services to Manchester via Warrington Central split off
- Wavertree Technology Park, for Wavertree. Also, the express service to Manchester Airport
- Broad Green, suburban station (for Broadgreen Hospital)
- Roby, suburban station
- Huyton for Huyton shopping centre and bus station. Also, change here for services to Warrington Bank Quay and Manchester Victoria
- Here is Huyton Junction, where services towards Manchester Victoria and Warrington BQ split off
- Prescot, suburban station
- Eccleston Park, suburban station
- Thatto Heath, suburban station
- St Helens Central, for St Helens town centre and the World of Glass
- Garswood, suburban station, also the last stop within Merseytravel's ticket zone
- Bryn, suburban station (for Ashton-in-Makerfield)
- Here is Ince Moss Junction where the Liverpool to Wigan line joins the West Coast Main Line
- Wigan North Western, Eastern Terminus, Change here for Intercity trains to Preston and points North, Warrington Bank Quay and points South and for regional express services to Blackpool North.
NW 2023 M-Ch km Springs Branch Junction 0-00 0.00 Ince Moss Junction 0-44 0.90 Bryn 2-32 3.85 Garswood 3-56 5.95 St Helens 7-30 11.85 St Helens Station Junction 7-42 12.10 Thatto Heath 9-11 14.70 Eccleston Park 10-07 16.25 Prescot 10-77 17.65 Huyton Junction 12-69 20.70
Monday to Saturday
Daytime hours of operation typically see 3 tph each way between Liverpool and Wigan, consisting of local stopping services every 30 minutes and an hourly long distance express which continues to Blackpool North. The Blackpool North limited stop service calls only at Huyton, St Helens Central and Wigan in the Liverpool to Wigan leg of its journey.
The service then calls at Euxton Balshaw Lane, Leyland and Preston on the West Coast Main Line, Kirkham and Wesham on the Blackpool branch, terminating at Blackpool North. Some peak time trains additionally call at Poulton-le-Fylde before Blackpool.
Morning and evening peaks see an increase in service frequency, including some services originating or terminating at St Helens Central and some semi-fast services. First service departs Liverpool for Wigan at around 0530. The first train from St Helens leaves for Liverpool just before 0600, and Wigan's first departure for Liverpool is a little later at approximately 0610. Last departures from Wigan and Liverpool are around 2300, as of the December 2009 timetable.
The December 2008 timetable change
December 2008 is notable as it brought extensive changes to the Northern Rail timetable, to fit in with new increased-frequency services from Virgin Trains. Timings were altered on all services. Most Liverpool to Wigan daytime local stopping services had previously omitted Edge Hill, but all stopping services on the route now call there.
December 2008 also marked the withdrawal of two relatively infrequent but notable services on this line:
- The long distance Express services used to run from Liverpool via St Helens Central and Wigan to either Morecambe, Blackpool North, and/or Barrow. Since December 2008, all Liverpool-Wigan line long distance services run to Blackpool only, necessitating a change at Wigan or Preston for the previously-served destinations.
- A small number of commuter-timed trains used to run Liverpool via Wigan to Manchester. They provided a route from Liverpool via St Helens Central, Wigan, and Bolton to Manchester Victoria, though these were also withdrawn in the December 2008 timetable. Replicating this journey now necessitates a change at Wigan NW, usually involving a walk to nearby Wigan Wallgate.
An hourly stopping service operates on the route in both directions between Liverpool and Blackpool North calling at open stations en route. As of December 2009, Edge Hill, Eccleston Park and Bryn do not have a regularly scheduled Sunday service.
Roby used to be closed on Sundays but is now operational all week.
The section of line from St Helens to Wigan was opened on 1 December 1869 by the Lancashire Union Railway, and the line from Huyton to St Helens was opened on 1 November 1871 by the London and North Western Railway.
- ^ "Plans for electrification of Liverpool to Manchester rail line may be axed as part of Tory-Lib Dem government cuts". Liverpool Daily Post. Trinity Mirror Group. 2010-06-16. http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/2010/06/16/plans-for-electrification-of-liverpool-to-manchester-rail-line-may-be-axed-as-part-of-tory-lib-dem-government-cuts-92534-26660585/. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- ^ "Transport keeps biggest share of funds, after defence". RailNews. RailNews.co.uk. 2010-10-20. http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/general/2010/10/20-transport-keeps-biggest-share-of.html. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
- ^ "Railway lines being electrified in £200m scheme". BBC News. BBC. 2009-12-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8411923.stm. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- ^ "Electrification RUS Consultation Response". Merseytravel. Network Rail. 2009-07-09. http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/rus%20documents/route%20utilisation%20strategies/network/working%20group%204%20–%20electrification%20strategy/consultation%20responses/m/merseytravel.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- ^ "City Line Timetable - All Booklets". Merseytravel. 2009-12-13. http://merseytravel.gov.uk/railindex.asp. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- ^ "City Line Timetable - Booklet 4". Merseytravel. 2009-12-13. http://merseytravel.gov.uk/pdf/City%20Line%20Booklet%204%20from%2013%20December%202009%20to%2015%20May%202010.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- ^ "National Rail timetable CHANGES - December 2008 to May 2009". National Rail. 2008-12-14. http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/Dec08_TTChanges.html. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- ^ "Northern Rail Timetable 10, December 2007 - Liverpool to Wigan and beyond". Northern Rail. 2007-12-14. http://www.northernrail.org/pdfs/timetables/200712/10.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
- ^ Awdry, C. (1990), Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Wellingborough, ISBN 1-85260-049-7, p.86
- ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199.
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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