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Liverpool South Parkway railway station

Liverpool South Parkway station is a railway station and bus interchange in the Garston district of Liverpool, England. It serves, via a bus link, Liverpool John Lennon Airport in the neighbouring suburb of Speke, as well as providing an interchange between main line services and the Merseyrail rapid transit/commuter rail network.

Liverpool South Parkway
for Liverpool John Lennon Airport National Rail
Liverpool South Parkway.jpg
Local authorityLiverpool
Coordinates53°21′28″N 2°53′23″W / 53.3577°N 2.8897°W / 53.3577; -2.8897Coordinates: 53°21′28″N 2°53′23″W / 53.3577°N 2.8897°W / 53.3577; -2.8897
Grid referenceSJ408849
Station codeLPY
Managed byMerseyrail
Number of platforms6
DfT categoryB
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2013/14Increase 1.785 million
2014/15Increase 1.803 million
2015/16Increase 1.893 million
2016/17Increase 1.983 million
2017/18Increase 2.247 million
– Interchange Steady 772,875
Passenger Transport Executive
11 June 2006Opened
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Liverpool South Parkway
for Liverpool John Lennon Airport from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

The station is located towards the southern end of Merseyrail's Northern Line and on the junction of two main lines: the City Line from Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington and the Liverpool branch of the West Coast Main Line to London via Crewe.

Allerton Traction Maintenance Depot is situated to the immediate east of the station.



The entrance to Liverpool South Parkway
Exterior shot of Liverpool South Parkway

In the 1960s Merseyrail was being designed with an outer rail loop that circled the city. The proposal was to use the former Cheshire Lines Committee's North Liverpool Extension Line[1] route through the eastern suburbs of Liverpool and the north south crossrail Northern Line that runs under the city centre to form the complete Outer Loop.

The proposal advanced into one large outer loop with two sub loops, one for the northern section of the city and one for the southern.

A part of the proposal was that passengers on the mainline radial routes into Lime Street entering from the east and south could transfer on to the electric urban Merseyrail rapid-transit network at interchange stations on the Outer Loop to access outer suburbs and avoid the need to travel into the city centre. Liverpool South Parkway and a station to have been at Broad Green in the east of the city, were to be the interchange stations. The eastern section of the Outer Loop was abandoned as was the interchange station at Broad Green. The eastern section of the Outer Loop was mothballed. Liverpool South Parkway was eventually completed in 2006 approximately 30 years late. [2]

As there was no eastern section of the Outer Loop to distribute passengers to the east of the city, the impetus to eventually complete the station was to improve public transport access to the expanding Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and also to provide new journey opportunities for rail passengers in south Liverpool by giving easy interchange between Northern Line, City Line and West Coast Main Line services. Construction began in 2004.

The main line platforms at Liverpool South Parkway are on the site of the former Allerton station, which closed in 2005 to allow the required rebuilding work to commence. The Northern Line platforms are completely new, replacing a station at Garston which was slightly further west of the current station. The concourse, bus station and car park are built on land that was once the home of South Liverpool F.C. An information board situated on the footpath towards the main road explains the history of the site.

At the time of opening, the Merseyrail City Line service (which had been hourly at the former Allerton station) was increased to half-hourly. The station also became an additional stop on the Liverpool-Birmingham service (then operated by Central Trains). From 11 December 2006, the Monday-Saturday evening service on the Northern Line was increased to run every 15 minutes, instead of half-hourly as previously.

Initially, many long-distance services omitted Liverpool South Parkway from their timetables, however more train services were gradually introduced. In December 2008 the Birmingham service was doubled in frequency,[3] and East Midlands Trains services began calling at the station.[4]

In December 2010 a further service was introduced, when First TransPennine Express services added the station as an extra stop on their services from Liverpool to York and Scarborough.

In May 2011, Blackpool North services which operated from Lime Street were extended to start and terminate at Liverpool South Parkway. The service is operated by Northern and does not call at stations between South Parkway and Lime Street. The service from Lime Street is unchanged. Trains travelling from Blackpool North to Liverpool South Parkway have a 15-minute dwelling time at Liverpool Lime Street.

In early 2017 Liverpool South Parkway served as a temporary hub for national trains whilst Lime Street was closed due to a landslide.[5] In September of the year, platform 4 was temporarily extended by 150 metres to allow intercity services to serve the station whilst Lime Street station is shut due to refurbishment work.[6] In mid 2018 the station again acted as a hub whilst Lime Street was upgraded.[7]


Originally scheduled to open in December 2005, the project fell behind schedule, and finally opened on 11 June 2006. The construction cost, originally estimated to be £16 million, had doubled to £32 million by the time construction was completed. Merseytravel rejected criticism of the delays and cost increase, stating that it had been caused by factors beyond its control, such as the collapse of Railtrack, increasing steel costs and poor weather causing flooding at the construction site.[8]

Tom Wileman, regional director of bus operator Stagecoach, described Liverpool South Parkway as a "white elephant".[9] However, from 28 September 2008 Stagecoach service 82 was rerouted to serve the station;[10] and from December 2008, trains operated by Stagecoach-owned East Midlands Trains began calling.


Railways around Liverpool South Parkway
West Allerton
Platforms 5–6
Platforms 1–4
Hunts Cross

The station has six platforms (four high-level platforms on the West Coast Main Line and a further two on the Northern Line), a bus station for local bus services, taxi rank, car park, bicycle storage, café and passenger lounge.

The station has been designed to use environmentally friendly techniques wherever possible. Some of the building's electricity is provided by photovoltaic cells. A 700,000 litre rainwater harvesting system has also been installed to reduce the use of mains water. This water will be used for cleaning and washing, as well as toilet flushes. All timber used has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as being from a well-managed forest. The roof is made from recycled aluminium instead of virgin materials.[11] The automatic doors at each of the five bus stances open only when a bus arrives, enhancing safety but also retaining heat within the building and avoiding excessive openings of the doors. The free-access main entrance uses a revolving door to avoid draughts.

In August 2006, Liverpool South Parkway won the Innovation Award at Network Rail's annual Environment Awards.[12]

In June 2009 the station underwent some enhancements, and saw the introduction of a new travel centre and a heated passenger lounge with wifi internet access, comfortable chairs and free newspapers, adjacent to the café; ticket barriers at both ends of the concourse were also installed.

A ticket vending machine, allowing collection of tickets booked online, was installed in July 2014.

In November 2016, an MtoGo shop was opened, selling a range of snacks and drinks alongside tickets.[13] This replaced the former travel centre, which was converted into a Costa Coffee outlet in the summer of 2017.


Merseyrail Northern Line train at the station

On the Northern Line (Platforms 5 and 6), trains run every 15 minutes, Monday to Saturday, to Southport via Liverpool Central, with a half-hourly service on Sundays.[14]

On the high-level platforms (1 and 2), Northern provide three trains per hour on the City Line. Two trains per hour (one per hour on Sundays) operate a stopping service, calling at most stations between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Oxford Road. An hourly semi-fast service runs to Manchester Airport.[15]

The East Midlands Trains service from Liverpool to Nottingham and Norwich) serves the station hourly.

London Northwestern Railway services between Liverpool Lime Street and Birmingham New Street call at Liverpool South Parkway. The service runs half-hourly Monday to Saturday, and hourly on Sundays. Selected services use platform 3.[16]As of May 2019, many services continue to London Euston via Northampton

Transport for Wales services between Liverpool Lime Street and Chester serve the station hourly, with a single early evening service extended to Wrexham General.

Virgin Trains services do not normally serve the station. The platforms are not long enough to accommodate a 9 or 11 coach Pendolino train. However, platform 4 was temporarily extended in 2017 to permit Virgin services to use the station while Lime Street was closed for major engineering works in Autumn 2017 and Summer 2018.

Bus services run from the station to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Aigburth, Dingle, Mossley Hill and Liverpool City Centre. Services are operated by Arriva North West, Stagecoach Merseyside and HTL Buses.

Passengers can use local services 80A and 86A for transfer to/from the airport. The Arriva AirLink 500 express service also calls here. Combined bus-rail tickets are available for rail passengers wishing to travel to the airport.

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
towards Southport
Northern Line
  Hunts Cross
Liverpool Lime Street   Northern
Liverpool to Manchester Line
  Warrington Central
West Allerton     Hunts Cross
Liverpool Lime Street   London Northwestern Railway
Birmingham New Street - Liverpool Lime Street
Liverpool Lime Street   East Midlands Trains
Liverpool - Norwich
    Hunts Cross
Liverpool Lime Street   Transport for Wales
Halton Curve

Former servicesEdit

From 23 May 2011, Northern Rail introduced direct services to Blackpool North. This was achieved by extending the existing Blackpool to Liverpool service. Trains ran non-stop from Liverpool South Parkway to Liverpool Lime Street, where they reversed to continue their journey to Blackpool. Seven trains operated Monday-Saturday, all outside the peaks with no direct evening or Sunday service.[17][18] This service ceased to serve South Parkway in May 2018, reverting to operate between Liverpool Lime Street and Blackpool North only.

TransPennine Express trains served the station with an hourly service to Scarborough from December 2010. This ended in May 2018 when TransPennine services were rerouted to use the Chat Moss route between Liverpool and Manchester via Newton-le-Willows.

A shuttle bus formerly provided a link to the National Trust's property at Speke Hall, running weekends and bank holidays between April and September.[19]


Merseytravel have stated that they aim to work with the train operators to improve the train service at Liverpool South Parkway, introducing new services with each twice-yearly timetable change.

Other new services which have been proposed but not confirmed are:

Proposals for High Speed 2 raise the possibility of London trains calling at Liverpool South Parkway. This could be as part of the new high speed service to Liverpool or as part of a revised stopping pattern on the existing West Coast Main Line service.[20]

Airport tram-train proposalEdit

In August 2009, it was reported that a new tram-train link to Liverpool John Lennon Airport and a link to Kings Dock from the east of the city had been proposed.[21] At Liverpool South Parkway, the tram-train would leave the existing railway line and seamlessly transfer to a new tramway. This project was referenced again in November 2016 in Merseytravel's Rail Development and Delivery presentation as a "top rail project".[22] During the presentation, Merseytravel's Senior Head of Service Operations revealed that there were no immediate plans to develop the rail link and its feasibility depended on the airport's passenger numbers increasing.[23]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

On 6 October 2017 a train derailed near the station.[24] The incident occurred at low speed while not in passenger service. There were no injuries.[25]


  1. ^ Cheshire Lines Committee Lines: North Liverpool Extension Line, Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, Garston and Liverpool Railway. 2010. ISBN 1158356277.
  2. ^ Maund, T.B. (2001). Merseyrail electrics: the inside story. Sheffield: NBC Books. OCLC 655126526.
  3. ^ "West Coast 2008 Timetable". Department for Transport. Archived from the original (pdf) on 30 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Liverpool South Parkway takes off!". Merseytravel. 13 October 2008. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008.
  5. ^ "No trains 'for days' after wall collapse". 1 March 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017 – via
  6. ^ "NR extends platform at Liverpool South Parkway ahead of Lime Street upgrade". Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  7. ^ Liverpool Lime Street reopens after eight-week closure
  8. ^ Neild, Larry (30 March 2006). "Cost of Liverpool rail hub doubles to £32m". Liverpool Daily Post.
  9. ^ Higgerson, David (6 February 2006). "£30m wasted on doomed tram project, says Arriva". Liverpool Daily Post.
  10. ^ "Changes to Bus Services from 28 September 2008" (PDF). Merseytravel. Archived from the original (pdf) on 7 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Welcome to Liverpool South Parkway" (pdf). Merseytravel. Retrieved 6 October 2007.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Winners of the 2006 Awards". Network Rail. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  13. ^ "Merseyrail Opens Tenth Mtogo and New Coffee Outlet at Liverpool South Parkway". Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.
  14. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2016, Table 103 (Network Rail)
  15. ^ "Train Times: Liverpool to Manchester Piccadilly via Warrington Central (20 May 2018-8 December 2018)" (PDF). Northern.
  16. ^ GB National Rail Timetable May 2016, Table 91 (Network Rail)
  17. ^ "Train Times: Liverpool to Wigan, Preston and Blackpool (22 May - 10 December 2011)" (PDF). Northern Rail. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 November 2011.
  18. ^ GB National Railway Timetable 2013-14, Tables 90 & 91
  19. ^ "All aboard the new Speke Hall Shuttle". Merseytravel. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  20. ^ "High Speed 2 Technical Appendix" (PDF). Department for Transport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  21. ^ Schofield, Ben (3 August 2009). "Tram link bid for Liverpool airport". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  22. ^ "Merseytravel Committee Rail Development and Delivery" (PDF). Merseytravel. Merseytravel. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Merseytravel Committee - Minutes of previous meeting" (PDF). Merseytravel. Merseytravel. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  24. ^ Milne, Oliver (7 October 2017). "Delays and cancellations after train derails near Liverpool South Parkway". Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  25. ^ "Crewe- Liverpool services restored". Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.

External linksEdit