A new railway station for Kirkby on Merseyside is to go ahead, it has been confirmed.
Construction workers in the area may decide now is a good time to invest in winter work wear as enabling works will be getting underway in the New Year. The station is expected to be completed and open to passengers by the spring of 2023.
Knowsley Council gave planning permission for the development and is a partner in the project with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Network Rail, Merseyrail and Northern Rail.
Located at and named Headbolt Lane, it will connect with the existing Kirkby station and will extend the Merseyrail network. As well as three platforms and the normal passenger facilities, features of the station will include step-free access, a bus interchange, cycle parking and links to local cycling and walking networks and around 300 park-and-rise spaces.
The new station will be served not just by local Merseyrail services, but by Northern Rail trains from Wigan and Manchester. The station is part of a wider plan to create a new rail link up to Skelmersdale.
It will also contain a first, with the third rail being removed as battery-powered trains will run on the line. Merseyrail plans to undertake a mass switch-over to this technology.
The development is the latest of many local rail projects taking place across the country, which sometimes slip under the radar amid major announcements and fierce debates about HS2.
Planned extensions to the Merseyrail network also include a new station for the Baltic Triangle area of the city, located where the old St James’s station stood until being closed in 1917.
Developments elsewhere in Britain include the re-opening this week of the link between Crosskeys and Newport, which had been closed in 1962, while the Dartmoor Line between Exeter and Okehampton recently saw the first mainline passenger trains since 1972.