Liverpool Exchange railway station

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Liverpool Exchange railway station
Liverpool Exchange railway station was a railway station located in the town centre of Liverpool, England.

Station construction and opening
The station originally opened as Tithebarn Street railway station on 13 May 1850, as the terminus of the Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway, Liverpool and Bury Railway and Liverpool, Ormskirk and Preston Railway, replacing an earlier station at Great Howard Street nearby. The station was extensively rebuilt and enlarged between 1886 and 1888, being renamed Liverpool Exchange on 2 July 1888. Its site expanded from the original location to cover Clarke's Basin (the original end of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal). The station then became the Liverpool terminus of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and was also the terminus of the LYR's Liverpool to Manchester line. Under four extremely long roofs lay ten platforms, providing long distance services to destinations such as Manchester Victoria, Blackpool North the Lake District, Whitehaven and Glasgow Central. Bradford Exchange and Leeds Central

Electrification
From March 1904, electric trains replaced steam hauled trains in the operation of suburban passenger services to Southport Chapel Street. The journey time was significantly shorter than the route followed by the Cheshire Lines Committee's Liverpool Central to Southport Lord Street service, as the LYR's route followed a more direct route parallel with the coast, serving growing intermediate communities. The LYR route therefore proved extremely popular with passengers. The line to Ormskirk was also subsequently electrified, being completed in 1911. Author and First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon frequently lodged in the hotel adjoining Exchange station and there in 1917 wrote his A Soldier's Declaration which appeared in the press and was read to the House of Commons. The station was badly damaged during World War II and lost a large proportion of its roof, which was never rebuilt.

Operations post World War II
On August 3, 1968, the last British Rail scheduled passenger train to be hauled by a standard gauge steam locomotive, ended its journey at Liverpool Exchange, Stanier 'Black 5' no. 45318 having hauled from Preston the Liverpool portion of the evening Glasgow to Liverpool and Manchester train. Exchange's long distance services switched to Liverpool Lime Street in the 1960s, leaving the station with only medium distance journeys to Bolton, Manchester, and Wigan, mainly operated by diesel multiple units, plus the urban electric services to Southport and Ormskirk. In the early 1970s, four of the platforms were closed and demolished to enable tunnelling work to begin for the Merseyrail underground. Part of this ambitious scheme involved diverting the Ormskirk and Southport electric services away from Exchange and into a new tunnel running North to South under Liverpool city centre. Trains formerly serving Exchange station call at a new underground station at Moorfields before continuing to terminate in the former Mersey Railway station at Liverpool Central railway station. At both Moorfields and Central stations easy interchange was possible for the first time with Wirral Line services, which until then had operated as a completely separate system.

Closure
Liverpool Exchange closed on 30 April 1977. The replacement Moorfields station opened the following Monday, 2nd May. Within a few years of closure the old station was demolished by Oldham Bros, a local demolition company. However, the frontage of the station building was preserved and incorporated into a new office building built behind, called Mercury Court. The station site is still largely intact. The approaches to the station still exist on the old brick viaducts. The lines then descend and disappear just before Leeds Street and down under the old station into the Link Tunnel of the Merseyrail Northern Line. Parts of the original station wall can still be seen when walking down Pall Mall or Bixteth Street. The rest of the station site behind Mercury Court is currently being used as a car park.