[52]. Trains from Wirral arriving via the original Mersey Railway tunnel enter the loop beneath Mann Island in Liverpool continuing in a clockwise direction through James Street, Moorfields, Lime Street and Central, returning to the Wirral via James Street station. Each route operates a train every 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday, giving a frequent interval between trains on the central section. The Beeching Report also recommended that the suburban and outer-suburban commuter rail services into both Exchange and Central High-level stations from the north and south of the city be terminated. This is very … [59][73] The line was considered in the Merseyside Route Utilisation Strategy document, concluding that reopening could not yet be recommended. The initial and cheaper proposal was to re-use the 1829 Wapping freight tunnel, by means of two new single-track tunnels branched off the Northern Line tunnel at a new junction named Liverpool Central South Junction, south of Central Station. Merseytravel owns and operates the Mersey Ferry service between Liverpool Pier Head, Seacombe in Wallasey and Woodside in Birkenhead. It would re-establish the most direct Liverpool-Preston route and is one of Merseytravel's long-term aspirations. [12] The tunnelled route was extended to Liverpool Central in 1890. This included a new station tunnel at Hamilton Square to serve the lines to New Brighton and West Kirby. Network Rail has recommended that a strategy for the Burscough Curves be developed further. The Edge Hill Spur was not completed due to budget cuts. These sub-loops allowed more direct journeys to the city centre from the eastern suburbs giving the overall scheme greater viability. In August 2014 Merseytravel gave details of a 30-year plan for the network to b… The loop extension offered direct mainline station access to Wirral residents after the decommissioning of the mainline Woodside terminal station in Birkenhead. [27] The transfer of Kirkdale depot and Merseyrail engineering personnel took place in October 2017, as construction work to modernise the depot, which is the planned maintenance hub for the Class 777s, commenced.[28]. As a result, using the Merseyrail Electrics Network Order 2002 the Secretary of State first exempted the two lines from being designated as a railway franchise under the 1993 Act. The former Mersey Railway became the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail system and the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway became the Northern Line. The Strategic Plan for the North West, the SPNW, in 1973 envisaged that the Outer Loop, the Edge Hill Spur connecting the east of the city to the central underground sections, and the lines to St. Helens, Wigan and Warrington would be electrified and all integrated into Merseyrail by 1991.[51]. To create the comprehensive rapid-transit network four construction projects needed completion: Only numbers 1 and 2 listed above were constructed creating the fully electrified 3rd rail Northern and Wirral Lines. This flyover has since been demolished. Trains run at an off-peak interval of fifteen minutes on most branches, with lines converging to provide a frequency of up to every five minutes within central Liverpool, and under the Mersey to Birkenhead. The construction of the Spur would have connected the City Line branches to the east of Liverpool into the electrified Merseyrail network and importantly the underground section in Liverpool's city centre. The network is operated by a joint venture between franchise holder Serco and Abellio, who superseded Arriva Trains Merseyside in 2003. The construction of the Link Line; a tunnel linking the lines north and south radiating out of Liverpool city centre into one. The lines are electrified throughout using the third-rail 750 V DC system. This included the unrealised Edge Hill Spur scheme from Liverpool Central Low Level to Edge Hill using the Waterloo Tunnel and a section of the City Line from Edge Hill to Broad Green. Open 07:00 to 19:00, Monday to Friday. Huyton, St Helens Central, Wigan North Western. They are as follows: There have been various suggestions for ways to enlarge the Merseyrail network. [11], Typical weekday off-peak service on the Merseyrail-run Northern and Wirral lines is as follows:[16][17], City Line services are not operated by Merseyrail, but have timetables produced by Merseytravel and are included here for completeness. Merseyrail’s joint owners are the Dutch Government, through Abellio, and corporate giant SERCO. [1] Although financial constraints have prevented some of the 1970s plans for the network being realised, the network has been extended on its peripheries, with additional extensions proposed. This short extension of electrified Merseyrail line at the southern end of the Northern Line opened in 1983. They used the brand name Merseyrail Electrics, but after MTL was sold to Arriva, the train operating company was rebranded Arriva Trains Merseyside from 27 April 2001. The firm is a joint venture between Go-Ahead group and French company Keolis, which itself is 70 per cent owned by the French National Railways Corporation. The new class 777 trains built by Stadler being introduced from 2020 onto Merseyrail, are being built to take power from the 3rd rail electric network. The first successful bidder was Merseyrail Electrics (2002) Ltd, a joint venture between Serco and NedRailways (renamed Abellio in 2009).[34]. Due to the isolation of the Northern and Wirral lines, Merseyrail Electrics (2002) Ltd are keen to adopt vertical integration – taking responsibility for maintenance of the track from Network Rail. The route circled the outer fringes of the city of Liverpool using primarily existing rail lines merged to create the loop. The roles will be reversed once the Class 777 trains fully replace the existing fleet. They run 59 trains serving 67 stations. In preparation for the full integration of the City Line into the network, the name was maintained with Merseytravel sponsoring the stations that are inside Merseyside, complete with Merseyrail branding.[52]. ", "Merseyrail - train times & timetables, journey planner & service updates", "Merseyside Area land use Transportation study (MALTS) project report. The programme of route closures in the early 1960s, known as the Beeching Axe, included the closure of two of Liverpool's mainline terminal stations, Liverpool Exchange and Liverpool Central (High Level), and one on the Wirral, Birkenhead's Woodside Station, leaving only one mainline station serving all of Merseyside at Liverpool Lime Street. Northern and City Line services interchange at Liverpool South Parkway and Hunts Cross in the south of the city. Riverside terminal station at the Pier Head was the fourth terminal station to close. Following the collapse of the Merseytram scheme in 2006, proposals were considered to revive the project, with the route of the tunnels currently safeguarded. Create the Outer Rail Loop; effectively a rail loop around the outer suburbs of the city using existing lines, that would also run through the city centre. [51] In March 2015 the Electrification Task force placed electrifying the line from Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington Central in the Tier 1 priority category. [44] Merseyrail is the only UK train operator to take such a vigorous approach, a stand which Merseyrail claims has proved very popular with commuters and has reduced anti-social behaviour on the system.[45]. Here you can find our latest and most recent travel news stories, updates and offers. There are also two depots near Southport station: Southport Wall Sidings and Southport Carriage Holding Sidings. The Loop and Link project was followed by a programme of expansion, electrification and new stations, which built on the greater integration and capacity provided by the new infrastructure. Merseyrail comprises the local rail network serving the city of Liverpool in the north west of England and the greater conurbation area known as Merseyside providing services to the inner and outer urban area of Liverpool with over 800,000 inhabitants. [72] Bi-modal battery/electric trains are to be trialled by Merseyrail on some sections of Merseyrail. [36][37] The latest figures released by NR (Network Rail) (as of period 12 of 2012/2013) report that Merseyrail's Public Performance Measure (PPM) was 96.2% and the moving annual average (MAA) stood at 95.5%. The current managing director of Merseyrail is Andy Heath. With Liverpool city having a semi-circular footprint with the city centre at the western fringe against the River Mersey, the western section of the loop would run through the city centre. There are 57 trains in service on the network. The East Section - The former Cheshire Lines Committee North Liverpool Extension Line initially from Hunts Cross to Walton however amended to Aintree. A part of the scheme would be the construction of a six platform underground station at Broad Green where the two loops and the St.Helens/Wigan line met. Most of these lines were modern electrified lines. Two services are not electrified, the Manchester via Warrington Central and Chester via Runcorn. The present Northern Line underground station at Liverpool Central was originally the Mersey Railway terminus at Liverpool Central Low Level. [58] In August 2014 Merseytravel gave details of a 30-year plan for the network to be presented to the leaders of the city region. The Stadler class 777 trains are capable of being propelled only via onboard battery sets. In the 1969 MALTS report, this section is referred to as the Tawd Vale branch. Merseyrail (in a joint venture with Abellio) and Caledonian Sleeper are both unique and niche with each of them at the forefront of best practice in customer service excellence. The 'Loop' was the Wirral Line tunnel and the 'Link' the Northern Line tunnel, both under Liverpool's city centre. When the Mersey Rail Electrics franchise came up for renewal, reflecting the exclusive nature of the Northern and Wirral lines - being largely isolated from the rest of the National Rail network and with no through passenger services to/from outside the Merseyrail network, the decision was taken to remove it from the national franchising system and bring it into exclusive PTE control. Monday-Saturday services are every 15 minutes from Liverpool to Chester, New Brighton and West Kirby, and every 30 minutes to Ellesmere Port (Monday - Sunday). The line provides direct access from the north and south of Liverpool to the shopping and business districts in the city centre via two underground stations, Liverpool Central and Moorfields, both of which also interchange with the Loop Line, which is an extension of the Wirral Line. Upon re-tendering, Northern Rail failed to retain the contract, and it passed to Arriva Rail North from 1 April 2016. Sign and share to keep them on Merseyrail #trainsneedguards. The curves allowed northbound trains from Ormskirk to run directly to Southport to the west, and southbound trains from Preston to run west to Southport. In November 2016 the details of the next phase of the Merseyrail fleet were announced: if trains capable of use beyond the third-rail DCnetwork are selected as replacements, various expansions can be achieved without electrification of the entire new route. On reopening under the Merseyrail brand, the electrified line never reached Gateacre as it once did, terminating three stations towards the city centre at Garston. Although powers were obtained to build this line under the 1975 Merseyside Metropolitan Railway Act, construction was postponed due to the financial cutbacks and political opposition that also halted the Outer Rail Loop project. The electrification extending Merseyrail through to Wigan Wallgate was a long-term aspiration of Merseytravel in 2014 being identified by Network Rail as a route where electrification would enable new patterns of passenger service to operate. Carrying approximately 110,000 passengers each weekday, or 34 million passengers per year, it forms the most heavily used urban railway network in the UK outside London. [59] The line was completely closed in 1963. This would give Skelmersdale, the second largest town in North West England without a railway service, direct access to Liverpool city centre. It is a total try on! The lines connect Liverpool city centre with cities and towns on the outer reaches of the city region, such as Southport, Chester and Ormskirk. [102] Network Rail expect the construction of the project to start in 2021 with the station being ready in 2023. [110], Media related to Merseyrail at Wikimedia Commons, Rock Ferry to Hooton, Chester and Ellesmere Port, Extending the network via electrification, "Liverpool City Centre Plan - City Centre Planning Group, 1965", Cheshire Lines Committee Lines: North Liverpool Extension Line, Southport and Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, Garston and Liverpool Railway The major engineering works required to integrate the Northern and Wirral lines became known as the 'Loop' and 'Link' Project, consisting of two tunnels. This would release platform space at Lime Street mainline terminus station for the use of only mid and long-haul mainline routes. Merseytravel are represented on a board led by Lancashire County Council which has developed a flowchart detailing how the scheme may be delivered. (, National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, Stadler's maintenance depot and UK headquarters, Serco and NedRailways (renamed Abellio in 2009), Liverpool City Region Long Term Rail Strategy, Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network, List of underground stations of the Merseyrail network, http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/22056/passenger-rail-usage-2015-16-q4.pdf, "Abellio Group Head Office" Group corporate website, Abellio, Utrecht, Netherlands, Undate, "Merseyrail corporate information | Merseyrail Electrics | Serco | Abellio", https://www.merseyrail.org/media/1300639/city-line-book-1-from-15th-december-2019-to-16th-may-2020.pdf, https://www.merseyrail.org/media/1300642/city-line-book-2-from-15th-december-2019-to-16th-may-2020-website.pdf, https://www.merseyrail.org/media/1300648/city-line-book-4-from-15th-december-2019-to-16th-may-2020-website.pdf, https://www.railwaygazette.com/uk/merseyrail-class-777-arrives-in-liverpool/55686.article, "Stadler signs £700 million deal to replace the UK's oldest fleet on Liverpool's Merseytravel line", https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/battery-trial-planned-for-new-emu-fleet.html, "All Merseyrail strikes suspended as union hails 'major breakthrough' that could finally end dispute", "Merseytravel and Stadler sign new fleet deal, but legal challenge remains", "Construction begins on Kirkdale depot to maintain new Merseyrail fleet", https://www.stadlerrail.com/en/media/article/stadler-signs-contract-build-and-maintain-52-metro-trains-liverpool-city-region/47/, https://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/stadler-rails-21m-depot-completes-in-kirkdale/, "Network Rail 2009 Strategic Business Plan - Merseyrail Route 21", https://web.archive.org/web/20171107021632/http://moderngov.merseytravel.uk.net/documents/s21686/Enc.%201%20for%20Updated%20Long%20term%20Rail%20Strategy.pdf, "Andy Heath appointed new managing director of Merseyrail", "We have taken the 'misery' out of Merseyrail", "Merseyrail trains are most reliable in the UK", "Merseyrail profits gather speed to reach record levels", "Merseyrail takes 840 to court over feet on seats", "Is Merseyrail's feet on seats policy too harsh? The station is in a deep cutting on the operational crossrail Northern Line tunnel section between Liverpool Central Station and Brunswick Station. Merseyrail and Northern Rail trains are generally timed to meet for ease of interchange. The report found that the Wapping Tunnel was in good condition though suffered from flooding in places and would require some remedial work, but that the concept of reopening the tunnel was viable. Mr Kadiri, who owns James Kadiri Limited, told the Liverpool ECHO he had drunk six pints with his mate and his mate's 80-year-old father but was 'nowhere near drunk'. The present Merseyrail system was merged from the lines of five former pre-Grouping rail systems: The nucleus of the system was the Mersey Railway, which opened from Liverpool James Street to Green Lane, Birkenhead running through the Mersey Railway Tunnel, one of the world's first underwater railway tunnels in 1886. 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