An image of Manchester Piccadilly station as the faster line to Liverpool is announced

Breakthrough for travel between Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool

  • A new high speed line for Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool is in the works
  • The government has pledged £12bn to improve the infrastructure between Manchester and Liverpool
  • Mayor Andy Burnham is hopeful that the news will develop with plans for an underground line at Manchester Piccadilly

The government have updated Northern Powerhouse rail with a proposed express line from Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool on track.

An image of Manchester Piccadilly station as the faster line to Liverpool is announced
Manchester Piccadilly will be getting a faster line to Liverpool. Credit: Matthew Barber

The plans will aim to cut current travel times between Manchester and Liverpool from 50 minutes to 35 minutes.

The time between trains will be cut by between ten and 15 minutes meaning passengers can ‘turn up and go’.

The news has been met positively by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham stating today’s announcement is a breakthrough for Greater Manchester.

Northern Powerhouse comes from HS2’s scrapping

The plans were initially introduced by the government in October following the scrapping of the northern leg of HS2.

Due to spiralling costs associated with HS2 the government redirected funds to network north with £36bn committed to transport improvements.

A further £12bn is set aside to develop these faster links between Manchester and Liverpool.

An artist impression of a HS2 train
Artist impression handout issued by HS2, of a early visualisation of a HS2 train following the scrapping of the Northern leg. Credit: PA Media

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Today we are setting out the next steps for how we can transform east-west rail links in the North, helping to boost economic growth between key Northern cities as part of our Network North plan. “

Councillor for Piccadilly Jon-Conor Lyons believes as much as the fast line is positive more needs to be done. He said: “HS2 is needed regardless of this to connect the North to the Midlands to the South

“We rely heavily on getting people around the country and if you look at our European neighbours or the Asian continent, these decisions are not debated or held up for decades to be discussed. They just happen because of the economic benefit that comes from it.”

An underground line for Manchester Piccadilly

The announcement also renews hope for the underground line planned for Manchester Piccadilly station.

Councillor Lyons said: “It’s great to hear the announcement that the station will be underground. An overground structure would’ve cut down prime development land that’s needed for houses”

An artist impression of Manchester Piccadilly following the underground addition
An artist impression of the underground line to be added to Manchester Piccadilly. Credit: MCC

“The line will improve Manchester as a city and the region as a whole. A new line will power up the north which is a long held financial pledge, dating back to the Cameron-Clegg coalition government.”

What does the future look like for Manchester Piccadilly station?

Piccadilly station is currently the busiest station in Manchester with 32m people passing through annually. And is the third busiest station outside of London.

Councillor Lyons said: “Piccadilly station is the hub for getting in and out of Manchester, you are able to get to anywhere in the country within four hours. These improvements will enhance those connections, we’re hoping that HS2 will happen in the near future and that this is just the start of things to come.”