The original terminus of the 1830 Liverpool and Manchester Railway (L&MR) was located at Crown Street, in Edge Hill, to the east of and outside the city centre. A new station in the city centre was needed. Construction of a purpose-built station at Lime Street in the city centre began in October 1833; the land was purchased from Liverpool Corporation for £9,000. A twin track tunnel was constructed between Edge Hill and the new station before the station was built in 1832; it was used to transport building materials for the station. The architects were Cunningham and Holme, and John Foster Jr.. The station opened to the public in August 1836, although construction was not completed until the following year. This building was designed with four large gateways, two of which were intentionally nonfunctional. Due to the steep incline uphill from Lime Street to Edge Hill, trains were halted at Edge Hill. Locomotives were removed from the trains and the passenger carriages were taken down by gravity, with the descent controlled by brakemen in a brake van. The return journey was achieved by using a stationary steam engine, located at Edge Hill, to haul the carriages up to Edge Hill by rope. This system, constructed by Mather, Dixon and Company under the direction of John Grantham, ended in 1870.
Within six years of opening, the rapid growth of the railways required expansion of the original station. A plan was formed to erect an iron roof similar to that found at Euston station in London, a ridge roof supported by iron columns. However, Richard Turner and William Fairburn submitted a design for a single curved roof, which won the approval of the station committee. The work cost £15,000 and was completed in 1849 with the involvement of William Tite. Meanwhile, in 1845, the L&MR had been absorbed by its principal business partner, the Grand Junction Railway (GJR); the following year the GJR became part of the London and North Western Railway. A group of four columns, adjoining platform 1 and attributed to Edward Woods, date to the 1846-50 rebuild of the station. By 1857, two granite columns had been erected outside the station entrance, and had become known as the "Candlesticks". In 1867 further expansion was needed and included the present northern arched train shed. Designed by William Baker and Francis Stevenson and with a span of 200 feet (61 m), it was the largest in the world at the time. It was also the first train shed in which iron was used throughout. A second parallel southern train shed was completed in 1879, designed by Stevenson and E.W. Ives; notably, it was of dry construction and each bay took only three days to build.
Upon nationalisation in 1948, the station passed to the London Midland Region of British Railways. Lime Street's present signal box was commissioned on 28 January 1948. The station concourse was redeveloped in 1955. In 1959, preparations began at Lime Street for the first stage of electrification of the West Coast Main Line. On 1 January 1962, electric services between Lime Street and Crewe officially began. On 18 April 1966, the station hosted the launch of its first InterCity service, introducing a 100 mph (160 km/h) service between Liverpool and London. On 11 August 1968, the Fifteen Guinea Special, a return service to Carlisle, was hauled by the Black Five locomotive 45110 from Liverpool to Manchester Victoria and back. The train arrived back at Lime Street at 7:58 pm, marking the end of British Railways' final steam-hauled mainline passenger journey. An office tower block named Concourse House and a row of small shops used to stand outside the southern train shed, obscuring the arches. These dated from the 1960s, and by the 2000s had become run down. They were demolished as part of a comprehensive refurbishment completed in 2010.
Liverpool Lime Street is divided into two sections: the mainline station, which offers national inter-city and regional overground services including local City Line routes, and services on the Wirral Line on the Merseyrail network, located underground between the mainline station and St George's Hall. Access between Lime Street lower level and Lime Street main line concourse is via a lift. There is an induction loop, help points and lost property. Toilets, booking offices, shops, a left-luggage office, taxi ranks and coffee bars are amongst the facilities provided. The main booking office is operated by Northern. The concourse of the station contains several shops, including branches of M&S Simply Food, Burger King, Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee, Boots and WHSmith. Car parking is managed by APCOA. The station also has two taxi ranks. The underground station consists of a single platform, alongside the Liverpool Loop tunnel, a single track tunnel bored in the 1970s, and a ticket hall above. The station, opened in 1977, is connected to the mainline station by means of a pedestrian subway and escalators, accessed via a long passageway which crosses beneath Lime Street itself, and by a lift from the main concourse. As part of a programme of improvements by Merseytravel, the underground station has been fitted with automatic ticket barriers and machines. A new M to Go shop was opened in late 2011. The underground station had WiFi installed in January 2016. In March 2016, it was announced that the Wirral Line loop will be having its track renewed. The underground station will therefore be closed between 3 January 2017 and 18 June 2017 whilst these works take place. See the Live Departures link below for bus departures.
Local Taxis 0151 298 2980, 0151 708 7080
Connections: The station has direct bus services to the Liverpool One bus station on the 10A, C4 and C5 routes, and from the bus station on the 86, 86A, 86C and 86D routes. The bus services are provided by Arriva, Stagecoach and Cumfybus.