No traces of Covid-19 found at Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street stations during tests

passengers at Lime st during pandemic
Passengers at Lime Street Credit: ITV

No traces of coronavirus were found in tests at four major railway stations, including two in the North West, Network Rail said.

Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, London Euston and Birmingham New Street stations were all examined for traces of the virus.

Places passengers touch regularly like escalator handrails, ticket machines, and benches were swabbed, and hour-long air samples were taken on the station concourse in January and June.

Between the testing dates station passenger numbers increased by 242%.

Tests were also repeated on trains running between the stations.


All lab tests by Imperial College London showed no Covid-19 contamination of any surface tested or airborne particles of the virus in station or on trains.

The conclusions from the independent report commissioned by Network Rail say enhanced cleaning methods across the rail industry and widespread wearing of face coverings by passengers are key reasons for the negative results. 

cleaning at Lime st station National rail Credit: National rail

sign Lime st Credit: ITV

Enhanced cleaning procedures will remain in place at the region's stations, with hand sanitiser and face coverings available on the station concourse to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Passengers who can are expected to wear a face covering in stations and on trains so everyone can travel in confidence.

Rail travellers should continue to plan ahead, sanitise their hands regularly and open a train window while travelling if possible.