Originally built by the Cheshire Lines Committee and opened in May 1874, Hunts Cross was the only four-platform station on the line running between Liverpool Central and Manchester Central stations. It was also a junction at the southern end of the North Liverpool Extension Line to Gateacre, West Derby, north Liverpool docks and Southport. This line was closed in stages from 1952 to 1979 and is now part of National Cycle Network Route 62, the Trans Pennine Trail. The closure of the North Liverpool route left Hunts Cross to be served by the local service from Liverpool Lime Street to Warrington and Manchester. In 1983 Merseyrail's electrified Northern Line from Liverpool Central was extended to Hunts Cross from its previous terminus at Garston. One of the former Gateacre line platforms was reinstated as a bay platform for terminating electric services. Northern Line trains originally ran through to Kirkby, but in 1984 the timetable was altered and trains continued to Southport instead.
When the Merseyrail service was introduced, the service from Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester was cut back to terminate at Hunts Cross. Passengers from Manchester wishing to continue to Liverpool had to change to a Merseyrail train. This arrangement was short-lived and ended in 1989 when the through trains to Lime Street were restored. From 11 June 2006, the number of Manchester-bound trains stopping at Hunts Cross was reduced from two trains per hour to one. However, during morning and evening peaks the half-hourly frequency is still maintained. From 11 December 2006, the Monday-Saturday evening Northern Line service was increased to run every 15 minutes. Previously, services had reduced to a half-hourly frequency after 7.30pm. In the May 2013 'Network News' section of the Northern Line timetable, it was announced that Hunts Cross would shortly receive funding in order to develop improvement schemes at the station.
Hunts Cross is served by diesel Northern services on the City Line between Liverpool Lime Street and Warrington Central and Manchester Oxford Road This service has one train per hour with additional calls during peak hours. Merseyrail electric Northern Line services operate from Southport via Liverpool Central every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday, reducing to half-hourly on Sundays. In addition, a limited number of peak-hour services operated by East Midlands Trains additionally stop here between Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham/Norwich. Hunts Cross station currently has three operational platforms. 1.Northern and East Midlands Trains services bound for Liverpool Lime Street (Liverpool to Manchester Line). 2.Northern services bound for Warrington Central and Manchester Oxford Road (Liverpool to Manchester Line). 3.Merseyrail services bound for Liverpool Central and Southport (Merseyrail Northern Line). The track serving platform 2 is also electrified and can be used by Merseyrail EMUs if the usual platform is blocked. This facility is used rarely, as any terminating train in this platform will block the through line towards Manchester, with potential delays to other services.
Hunts Cross has restricted access. The car park and Ticket Office are step free, however access to the platforms is via stepped ramps only. There is an induction loop, help point, and lost property. The station is in a cutting and is reached by stepped ramps from the ticket office (so is not fully accessible). A building on the Southport/Manchester-bound (island) platform (platforms 2 & 3) contains an accessible toilet, a snack shop and waiting room. The former main station building has been converted into a bar/restaurant and has been replaced by a modern ticket office (which is staffed throughout the day until end of service, seven days a week). A small car park is available, and bus stops are nearby. Train running information is offered via digital display screens and automated announcements. Bus Connection Timetable. Or NextBus for live departures.
Local Taxis: 0151 486 8797, 0151 427 7909
Connections: 45 (Garston to Widnes), 81,81A (Bootle), 89 (St Helens), 188,288 (Halewood to Garston Circular), 838 (Seaforth), 883 (Huyton Industrial Estate), 81A,89,883 (Liverpool John Lennon Airport), 81,881 (Speke), 166,266 (Belle Vale to Garston Circular)