Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Ipswich Icons: Why Liverpool Street Station has long played an important role in the lives of Suffolk travellers

PUBLISHED: 15:45 30 January 2016

Liverpool Street Station 1896

Liverpool Street Station 1896

Archant

I make no apologies for including Liverpool Street Station in a column of Ipswich Icons, writes John Norman of The Ipswich Society.

Liverpool Street Station concourseLiverpool Street Station concourse

Clearly Liverpool Street Station isn’t in Ipswich but it is an essential component in the lives of many Suffolk residents. Commuters make the journey back and forth on a daily basis, travellers destined elsewhere in the world pass through, on their way to St Pancras, Gatwick or Heathrow.

Liverpool Street Station is a lifeline for Ipswich businesses; considerable numbers of consultants, health professionals, project managers and academics leave London to advise colleagues in Suffolk on progress, projects and possibilities. In the evening, trains from Liverpool Street are full of shoppers, theatre-goers and party animals returning home.

The terminal is today an efficient London mainline station, handling some 58 million passenger movements each year − the third- busiest of all the London stations. Ipswich Station, by way of comparison, handles 3.5 million passengers annually.

Liverpool Street hasn’t always been the terminus of the Great Eastern Main Line. When the railway was first started in 1837, the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) used a temporary station, “Devonshire Street”, at Mile End, a good distance from the current station.

Liverpool Street Station GE HotelLiverpool Street Station GE Hotel

In July, 1840, the permanent ECR station was opened just off Shoreditch High Street, much nearer the City but still a few hundred yards short. The name of this station was changed in 1847 to Bishopsgate, with the intention of attracting more commuters.

When Liverpool Street was opened, Bishopsgate became the goods station and was used as such until a disastrous fire in 1964 destroyed all but the brick viaduct.

In 1862 the ECR amalgamated with a number of other East Anglian railway companies to form the Great Eastern Railway (GER). For a time this company used Fenchurch Street station as well as Bishopsgate but there was insufficient capacity for the growing passenger numbers.

In 1874 the Great Eastern Railway compulsory purchased 10 acres of land in the City, including the site previously occupied by Bethlem Royal Hospital, which moved to Moorfields.

The new station was designed by the GER engineer Edward Wilson and built by what was then a major firm of London builders, Lucas Brothers, for £2 million. The Lucas Brothers also built the Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Opera House and Alexandra Palace, and they were also busy locally with Henham Hall, Rendlesham Hall and Somerleyton Hall.

By 1890 the station was again over capacity and an additional eight tracks and platforms were added to the east of the existing station (today’s platforms 11 to 18). The majority of the building work on the extension was carried out by (John) Mowlem and Co. (founded 1822), now trading as Carillion.

Between 1985 and 1992 the station was renovated, modernised and efficiency of train movements increased. Broad Street station (alongside Liverpool Street) was demolished and Broadgate developed.

Trains previously terminating at Broad Street were accommodated in the improved Liverpool Street.

When the original station was built, a sub-surface underground station was also constructed for the Metropolitan Railway, today providing platforms for the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Circle lines.

Much the same is happening with Cross Rail, with a new station below Finsbury Circus with step-free access from both Liverpool Street and Moorgate − a convenient inter-connection with the Northern and Northern City Line. Cross Rail will run from Shenfield (on the Great Eastern main line) to Reading, passing underneath Liverpool Street, along the length of (but far below) Oxford Street, and on to Paddington.

There will be a branch to Heathrow, which is promised to 
be less than two hours from 
Ipswich.

Next time you are stuck at Liverpool Street, waiting for a delayed train to Ipswich, you can almost guarantee the problems are probably elsewhere; Liverpool Street’s efficiency continues to deliver.

See more on the upgrade of Ipswich station here

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Concerns are growing for the welfare of a missing Suffolk man – who has not been seen for five days.

A smoke alarm helped save lives during a blaze at a home in Ipswich this evening.

Only one potential witness seen on CCTV in Bury St Edmunds on the night Corrie McKeague disappeared remains unidentified.

A community school art project has helped break down the “invisible barrier” between the Whitehouse and Whitton wards in Ipswich, a former mayor has claimed.

We meet up with the experts leading the £1.2m conservation and improvement work at Framlingham Castle.

Her interactive presentation, which focussed on the importance of e-safety for young people, at the pupil referral unit in Spring Road was praised by the academy’s deputy head Trudy Read.

An amateur dramatic group in Kesgrave has paid tribute to one of its longest serving members ahead of its new show – the first in 49 years not to have included his input.

Kesgrave High Show will tomorrow be putting on its first big show in five years, as it bids farewell to a long-running dance teacher and helps raise money for the department.

The University of Suffolk will be offering higher and degree apprenticeships for the first time from June – a move which business leaders say will mark Suffolk as a driving force in skills and leadership.

Dozens of swimmers have taken to the water in preparation for conquering the Great East Swim this summer.

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24