New vision for £50m city centre rail station which could open in 2025

The station's proposed design

CGI images and a video fly-through showing what a new £50m rail station at the former St James site in Liverpool might look like have been revealed.

A public vote has also been opened to decide on its new name.

A shortlist of three potential names has been produced after initial discussions between the main partners on the scheme – Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Network Rail, Merseyrail and Liverpool City Council.

To avoid any confusion with the existing James Street station in Liverpool city centre, a decision has been taken to pick a new name for the station that will reflect the modern area in which it will be located.

The three names to choose from are:

  • Liverpool Baltic
  • Liverpool Parliament Street
  • Liverpool Riverside

The public vote is open until 5pm on Friday, February 18.

In September 2019, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority included plans for the station in its £172.5m proposals for public and sustainable transport.

The cost of re-opening St James could reach £50m, but businesses around the burgeoning Baltic Triangle area of the city say it would help boost the local economy.

The artist’s impression CGI images and video – which show the basis of the basic design of the station but do not necessarily reflect the final finishes and fittings – bring to life the ticket office, cycle storage, escalators and platforms, showing what the station layout will be once completed.

The original St James station opened in 1874 and was named after the nearby parish church. It closed in 1917 as a cost cutting measure during the First World War and was never re-opened.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has pledged to build a station on the site, which will be located in one of the fastest growing areas of the city, near to the former Cains Brewery and Anglican Cathedral.

The area has undergone huge redevelopment in recent years, seeing it become home to a diverse range of more than 350 creative and digital industries, with in excess of 1,000 apartments built since 2012 and plans for at least 3,000 more, alongside the various popular creative and leisure facilities that have opened.

Giving commuters and leisure visitors to the area a direct connection to the Merseyrail network would support the reduction of car journeys to the area, contributing towards reducing traffic congestion, as well as aspirations to improve air quality across the city region.

The station would be located between the Liverpool Central and Brunswick stations on the Northern Line and will include passenger toilets, a cycle hub, step-free access to and between both platforms and a passenger drop-off area outside.

The scheme will enter the next stage of design development later this year. Land has already been purchased to safeguard the site of the new station ticket office building. The current plans aim for the station to be open in 2025, subject to funding being secured for the construction stage.

Steve Rotheram said: “I am ambitious about the future of public transport in our region and Liverpool’s new station – alongside another new station at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby – are only the first step towards an expanded Merseyrail for All network. I want our region to have what London has had for years – a transport system that is affordable, reliable, and easy to use.

“But I also want local people to feel a sense of ownership over our system network. Our new trains are publicly-owned, as is our new fleet of hydrogen buses and we’re working to take greater public control of the wider bus network.”

Cllr Sarah Doyle, Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “It’s exciting to see that we’re now at the stage of looking at designs and renaming this station. It’s a symbolic, but hugely significant step in the journey to bringing the station back into use.

“A huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes to ensure this redesign works, not just from a transport point of view, but also how it fits into the ongoing regeneration of the area and supports existing residential communities. Whatever name the public chooses it’s safe to say the station will be a real game changer in more ways than one.”

Andy Heath, managing director at Merseyrail, said: “The station will be a welcome addition to the area which has seen exponential growth in both creative and hospitality industries, as well as residential developments in recent years. We look forward to serving people that live, work and socialise there.”

Phil James, North West route director at Network Rail, said: “This new accessible transport hub – in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre – is another fantastic example of the Mayor and the combined authority investing in the Merseyrail network for the environmental and economic benefits it brings to the region.”