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Liverpool Central High Level railway station

Liverpool Central High Level[3] was a terminus railway station in central Liverpool, England. It opened on 1 March 1874, at the western end of the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC) line to Manchester Central. It replaced Brunswick as the CLC's Liverpool passenger terminus, becoming the headquarters of the committee.

Liverpool Central
Central Station, Liverpool including Mersey Railway sign.png
Coordinates53°24′17″N 2°58′49″W / 53.4046°N 2.9802°W / 53.4046; -2.9802Coordinates: 53°24′17″N 2°58′49″W / 53.4046°N 2.9802°W / 53.4046; -2.9802
Grid referenceSJ350902
Original companyCheshire Lines Committee
Pre-groupingCheshire Lines Committee
Post-groupingCheshire Lines Committee
1 March 1874 (1874-03-01)Station opened
17 April 1972 (1972-04-17)Station closed[2]
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain


The three-storey building fronted Ranelagh Street in Liverpool city centre, with a 65-foot (20 m) high, arched shed behind.[4] There were six platforms within the station, offering journeys to Manchester Central (in 45 mins, making the route quicker and more direct than those of the competing Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway & London & North Western Railway), London St. Pancras, Hull, Harwich, Stockport Tiviot Dale, Southport Lord Street and an alternative route to that of the Midland Railway terminating at London Marylebone.

On 11 January 1892 Liverpool Central Low Level underground station opened, at the end of the Mersey Railway's route, via the Mersey Railway Tunnel from Birkenhead. The tunnel was extended from James Street to Central. The Mersey Railway platforms were underground, accessed from stairs within the station (these stairs were situated in roughly the same position as the escalators accessing the Merseyrail Northern Line today).

The station was always busy, until nationalisation. Route closures that were part of the Beeching Axe in the 1960s closed three terminal stations: Liverpool Central High Level, Liverpool Exchange and Woodside Station in Birkenhead.

  • Long and Medium Distance Routes - Lime Street Station in Liverpool city centre was to remain, absorbing the long- to medium-distance passenger traffic of the closed terminal stations.
  • Local urban routes - The local urban services served by the terminal stations would be absorbed by the new Merseyrail urban network.

New tunnels under Liverpool's city centre were scheduled to connect all the separate rail lines to create Merseyrail.

In 1966 most services on the CLC route were diverted to Lime Street via the Hunts Cross chord, leaving only a dozen urban commuter trains per day to and from the terminus at Gateacre. These final services were withdrawn on 17 April 1972 with the High Level part of the station closed that day it was later demolished, after having served briefly as a car park. However, the Low Level underground station remains open.

The site was being developed into Central Village, built over the underground station until Circus took over.


The station had 6 platforms arranged over 3 islands. That of platforms 1 & 2 was especially wide, to allow vehicles to drive down the middle, while between platforms 2 & 3, between platforms 4 & 5 and east of platform 6 there were run-around loops which didn't serve a platform.[5]

Preceding station   Disused railways   Following station
Terminus   Cheshire Lines Committee   St James
Line and station closed


  1. ^ Pixton 2007, pp. 2-7.
  2. ^ Butt 1995, p. 144.
  3. ^ "LIVERPOOL CENTRAL HIGH LEVEL". Disused Station. Retrieved 21 July 2009.
  4. ^ Welbourn 2008, pp. 44-5.
  5. ^ 1891 O.S. 1:500 Town Plan


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