© Robin Bird
Street Station Liverpool claims to be at one end of the world’s
first true public railway, which linked the Mersey to Manchester,
but the original terminus was at Crown Street rather than Lime Street.
And in the very earliest days, trains were hauled up and down from
Edge hill by ropes, rather than by locomotives.
building of Lime Street Station began with the purchase of the Cattle
Market from the council for £9000 in October 1833, and over the
following months, many different plans and drawings for the interior
were submitted, from the parcels office to the roof.
council was invited to contribute to the cost and in May l835, they
agreed to pay £2000 towards the erection of a grand public entrance.
With certain conditions:
1. Work would be subject to the council surveyor’s complete
2. The company had to have spent approximately £6,000 before
the council paid their £2,000.
station was finally opened to the travelling public in August l836,
although it was still not completed and work continued on various
parts of the building over the following years, including the iron
gates and the palisade, were were erected in 1837. The
structure was extremely elegant, with many features which were soon
copied all over the country.
September l842 traffic increased so much that it became evident
the site would need to be extended, and so a Station Improvement
Committee was set up.
The subsequent work took four years to complete, but it never interfered
with the running of the station, and disruption to passengers was
The initial idea was for an iron roof like the one spanning Euston
station in London, with ridge roofs supported by iron columns between
the tracks, but a Dublin iron works submitted plans for a single
After stringent tests in Dublin, and some modifications, the roof
was completed in l849. It was then the largest iron roof used on
any building, and the first time such a construction had been used
to cover a railway station.
And the cost? £15,000.