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London to Liverpool Train

We planned to take a train from Euston Station to Liverpool Lime Street on May 27, departing 0807 and arriving at 1019, which would allow us some cushion before a tour leaving Lime Street at 1100 or 1130. (Yes, the Fab Four Taxi lady said they would wait for us. We're then doing a National Trust tour at 1410.) Based on advice received here we're spending the night so as to not be rushed getting back to London the same day.

However, my friends, it appears that due to engineering works the schedule won't be out until six weeks in advance, so we're kind of in a holding pattern until for awhile. I'm debating whether to just go ahead and book a hotel for May 26, too, though I hope not to.

Is there a question here somewhere? Yes. Yes, there is. Should we just wait until the official schedule is out before making a decision to go a day early and spend another night? I have this sinking feeling our plan to arrive by 1019 May 27 may be fanciful. I don't might spending another night in Liverpool but would like to avoid that if possible as we have a limited time in London. Any thoughts on the matter?

Posted by
11212 posts

First, be aware, the 27 May is a Bank Holiday. The trains will be crowded.

My cousin is a Beatles fanatic. On his first trip to the UK, he and his family decided to spend the entire time around London. But he had to see Liverpool. So, the plan was he would spend one day in LIverpool and take a Beatles tour.

His train was delayed and he missed the tour. My suggestion would be to book a hotel room just make sure you can cancel it. If the tour people will wait for any delays, then you should be okay.

What are you going to do with your luggage while on the tour?

Posted by
21031 posts

A lot of the European hotels I've stayed in, most through booking.com, have required cancellation 3 days in advance or even farther ahead to avoid being charged. The policy of Premier Inn seems to be that if you book the Flexible rate, you can cancel up to 1 PM on the day of arrival. You should of course verify that such language still appears on the PI website. There are a lot of Premier Inns in Liverpool.

I wouldn’t assume there’ll be an 8.07 on Monday 26th. There is major engineering work happening all weekend. It is a Bank Holiday weekend and that’s often when engineering work will be done.

You might think that’s an odd time to do work - surely the trains will be busier with holiday traffic? Well, no - the key is that there’s no commuter rush hour on Monday so trains are less busy, so it gives them three days to get work done.

On 27th May, the earliest train showing is the 8.16, which will get in at 11.05. The notes say that there is a reduction in the number of trains running due to the engineering work so I wouldn’t expect an 8.07 to suddenly appear on the schedules. (Just to give you an idea of things, I also note that on the previous Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May, the 8.07 will take twice as long as usual and involve two changes - also because of engineering work.)

Schedules will be up the shoot all weekend, I’m afraid. Your best bet might be buying an off-peak return (roundtrip) to use at any point in the weekend.

For Chester, the Virgin services seem to be terminating at Crewe all weekend, meaning a change.

You could wait till six weeks beforehand to see if the train companies start offering Advance (capital A) tickets on the London/Liverpool route, which is the usual sign that they’ve confirmed the trains.

But I think it’s looking highly unlikely that the usual (non-holiday) weekday 8.07 will run as normal so you will probably need to go up the night before, given how early you need to be in Liverpool.

Posted by
1809 posts

Thanks for the responses. Well, as the the Beatles sang, "I should have known better." We will go ahead and book a hotel for Sunday evening and hope for the best, cancelling if by some miracle the Monday morning train works out. "We can work it out." Sorry...

When the "official" schedules come out 6 weeks prior, are they reliable?

As for luggage, well, we were just going to take day bags with toiletries and a change of underclothing/socks. If we stay Sunday and Monday night we can take a little bit of luggage and leave it at the hotel during the day.

Posted by
27709 posts

Yes they are reliable, or at least they won't get any better. Sometimes they get worse.

As said above, don't expect any trains to magically appear. They won't. If things go down the pan during the engineering works trains expected to run could have what is referred to as "late notice cancellations or alterations".

The advise to get there a day ahead is good. The advice to go to Chester is also good because the trains linking Chester and Liverpool - Merseyrail - use completely different stations in Liverpool and because they are a third-rail electric network and mainline trains are an overhead electric network they don't share the same track at all. So something going on here is unlikely to affect something there - except the overflow crowds on diversion getting on something that is running.

No chance of turning your trip around and doing Liverpool on days not part of the Bank Holiday weekend.

For others, planning anything on British bank holidays often results in frustration. Not just Liverpool - anywhere, and especially anywhere the locals will want to go on a holiday, most especially the seaside.

Posted by
1809 posts

Yeah, the planning on my part wasn't great. I initially booked the tours prior to learning about "engineering works" and its implications on travel. Every trip I learn a hard lesson, buy this is more of a kink in our plans than a genuine problem.

Initially we planned to go to Liverpool and back in one day.

Thank goodness for the fine folks on this forum.

edit: We will really only spend one full day in Liverpool as we'll leave London Sunday afternoon and return Tuesday morning.

Posted by
1219 posts

Last year, I traveled the day after a bank holiday from London to Liverpool and the train ran slower than normal due to some track work, so going the night before makes sense. Liverpool is wonderful, there’s so much to do there and the hotel rooms will be less expensive than London.