Liverpool James Street railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Indian station, see James Street Railway Station (India).
Liverpool James Street National Rail
Liverpool James Street railway station.jpg
James Street station entrance
Place Liverpool
Local authority Liverpool
Coordinates 53°24′17″N 2°59′31″W / 53.4048°N 2.9919°W / 53.4048; -2.9919Coordinates: 53°24′17″N 2°59′31″W / 53.4048°N 2.9919°W / 53.4048; -2.9919
Grid reference SJ341902
Station code LVJ
Managed by Merseyrail
Number of platforms 3 (Only 2 platforms see regular use)
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  0.196 million
2005/06 Increase 0.209 million
2006/07 Increase 1.552 million
2007/08 Increase 1.953 million
2008/09 Increase 3.117 million
2009/10 Increase 3.365 million
2010/11 Decrease 3.320 million
2011/12 Decrease 2.995 million
2012/13 Decrease 2.847 million
2013/14 Increase 3.078 million
Passenger Transport Executive
PTE Merseytravel
Zone C1
Original company Mersey Railway
Pre-grouping Mersey Railway
Post-grouping Mersey Railway
London Midland Region of British Railways
1 February 1886 Opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Liverpool James Street from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

James Street (full name Liverpool James Street[1]) is a railway station located in the centre of Liverpool, England, and situated on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network. James Street is an underground station; access is via lift from James Street and, at certain times, via a tunnel from the India Buildings on Water Street. as of 2013/14 James Street is the fifth busiest station on the Merseyrail network.


Water Street entrance sign for James Street station from just after electrification of the Mersey Railway.

The station opened as the original Liverpool terminus of Mersey Railway Tunnel in 1886. James Street Station together with Hamilton Square underground station in Birkenhead are the oldest deep level underground stations in the world, London's underground stations were just below the street surface built via the cut and cover method. The stations were so deep they required lifts to access, this gave another world's first in having the first lift accessed stations. The lifts were hydraulically operated.

In 1892 a tunnel was extended to Liverpool Central station changing James Street's status to a through station. By this time, there were trains from Liverpool branching from Hamilton Square station terminating at Birkenhead Park and Rock Ferry stations in Birkenhead. The line was electrified in 1903. Through trains to West Kirby and New Brighton commenced in 1938, when the former Wirral Railway routes were electrified. There were originally two platforms, either side of a twin-track tunnel.

During World War II, Nazi aircraft bombed the surface building of the station. A new surface building was built in the 1960s.

In the 1970s, the station was rebuilt as part of the expansion of the Merseyrail network. A new single-track tunnel known as the Loop was constructed, from the Mersey Railway Tunnel via a new third platform at James Street, then Moorfields, Liverpool Lime Street and Liverpool Central, rejoining the Mersey Railway just to the east of James Street. This opened in 1977.

A part of the original tunnel between Liverpool Central and James Street is used by the new Northern Line. The remaining part of that tunnel which is used by neither the Wirral Line nor Northern Lines was retained, to provide a connection between the two for moving empty electric trains between depots at Birkenhead North and Kirkdale. Of the original two platforms at James Street, only the westbound remains in regular use,[2] though Platform 2 will be used if necessary or if Engineering works are taking place on the loop itself.

Until the mid-1990s James Street closed at 7pm; now the station remains open throughout the evening.

Platform 1 at James Street station, after refurbishment, in 2013.

On 26 February 2007, a £2 million package of improvements to the station received planning permission from Liverpool City Council.[3] Work on the street outside the station was carried out in 2007 and 2008, and internal work began on 13 February 2008. The station was fully reopened in May 2008.[4]

2012-13 Refurbishment[edit]

In August 2012, it was announced that James Street was to be the second station to be refurbished as part of the £40 million investment from Network Rail which would see all Merseyrail Underground Stations excluding Conway Park refurbished. This incliuded the refurbishment of platforms, concourses and the booking hall. James Street's Platform 1 (Liverpool bound) was closed from 3 September 2012 to 7 January 2013 for this work to be carried out. Platform 3 at James Street Station was closed on 7 January 2013 and opened on 22 April 2013 after this platform was being refurbished.[5][6]

Recent History[edit]

In early June 2014 it was been announced that this station would be one of the small number of stations on the Merseyrail network that will be spruced up in a £3.7m programme of improvements. It included the refurbishment of the Water Street entrance as well as improvements to Platform 2. The Water Street entrance closed on 16 February 2015 and reopened on 13 April 2015, although refurbishment was not complete until May 2015.[7] The improvements on Platform 2, is currently ongoing. It will improve the visual impact for customers waiting to board Wirral-bound trains.

Station layout[edit]

Platform and tunnel layout in and around James Street station, including the original tunnel to Central station, which still exists
The frieze at the disused Platform 2 of James Street station.

James Street station has three platforms, although only two see regular use. Platforms 2 and 3 are situated on either side of the original Mersey Railway tunnel, and platform 1 in the newer tunnel on the loop line. Only platforms 1 and 3 are in regular use for the loop line, Platform 3 by trains westbound to the Wirral and Platform 1 by trains eastbound towards Liverpool. Platform 2, which is situated on the empty stock line opposite platform 3, has not normally been used by passenger services since the opening of the loop line. This platform has a frieze artwork, on the wall.

The junction at the western end of the station (where the loop leaves the original line in order to pass through platform 1) is known as Mann Island Junction.[8]

Occasionally, the loop line may close to allow for maintenance to occur (such as the engineering works that took place between April and May 2007 again in April/May 2009 and most recently in July & August 2013).[9][10][11] On these occasions, platform 2 is brought back into use to allow trains arriving from the Wirral to terminate and reverse there back onto the westbound line (either directly or via platform 3).

There are two entrances. The main entrance in James Street has lifts to reach the platforms from street level, whilst the Water Street entrance uses a combination of staircases and a ramp over 150 yards long which goes from ground level to just above the platforms. The Water Street entrance is only in use between 7am and 10am, then from 3pm to 6pm Monday to Friday.[citation needed]]]


The station is staffed, during all opening hours, and has platform CCTV.[1] There are toilets, a payphone, an ATM, booking office and live departure and arrival screens, for passenger information. The station doesn't have a car park. Though, there is a cycle rack for eight bicycles. Step-free access to the platforms, for wheelchairs and prams, is possible, via the lifts.[12]


Trains operate every five minutes (Monday-Saturday daytime) around the Liverpool city centre loop to Moorfields, Liverpool Lime Street and Liverpool Central. In the other direction, trains operate every five minutes to Hamilton Square, from where they continue every 15 minutes to each of New Brighton and West Kirby with six trains an hour to Hooton. From Hooton, trains continue every 15 minutes to Chester and every 30 minutes to Ellesmere Port. At other times, trains operate every 30 minutes to each of the four destinations, giving a service every 5–10 minutes to Hamilton Square.[13] These services are all provided by Merseyrail's fleet of Class 507 and Class 508 EMUs.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Station Facilities for Liverpool James Street". National Rail. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  2. ^ Maund, T.B. (2001). Merseyrail electrics: the inside story. Sheffield: NBC Books. OCLC 655126526. 
  3. ^ "Green light for James Street works". Merseytravel website. Merseytravel. 26 February 2007. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "James Street improvements". Merseytravel website. Merseytravel. 21 May 2008. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "James Street Refurbishment". Merseyrail website. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. 
  6. ^ James Street Refurbishment
  7. ^ Water Street Entrance Closure
  8. ^ 4 Midlands & North West (Map) (2nd ed.). Railway Track Diagrams. Cartography by John Yonge. Trackmaps. March 2005. p. 40 Hunts Cross - Moorfields. ISBN 0-9549866-0-1. 
  9. ^ "Liverpool Loop Closure" (PDF). Merseyrail travel information booklet. Merseyrail. April 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  10. ^ "Liverpool Loop Closure" (PDF). Merseytravel website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  11. ^ Manning, Craig (11 July 2013). "Wirral rail users face months of disruption as Liverpool Loop work begins". Wirral Globe (Newsquest (North West) Ltd.). Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Liverpool James Street Station Plan". National Rail. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Wirral Line Train Times - 8 December 2013 to 17 May 2014" (PDF). Merseyrail. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Hamilton Square
towards New Brighton, West Kirby,
Chester or Ellesmere Port
Wirral Line
towards Liverpool Central
    Liverpool Central
(one-way operation)