At the time of construction, the opportunity was taken to construct two short header tunnels for the proposed Edge Hill Spur project (see below). Services on the electrified Merseyrail network are operated by British Rail Class 507, Class 508 and British Rail Class 777s electric multiple unit trains (EMUs). 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 Merseyrail name became the official brand for the network in the days of British Rail, surviving several franchise holders, although the name was not used by Arriva when holding the franchise. [76][77], Electrification from Ormskirk to Preston has been considered in conjunction with the Burscough Curves reopening detailed below. Services operate from the four Wirral terminus stations of: Chester, Ellesmere Port, New Brighton and West Kirby. Rail replacement buses will run where possible but delays are likely due to poor road conditions. The Power Supply to the Third Rail is monitored and controlled by the Electric Control Room at Sandhills. The electrification of the former Wirral Railway lines to (New Brighton and West Kirby) took place in 1937 and allowed through running into Liverpool via the Mersey Railway tunnel. The core of the network is formed by two dedicated electrified lines known as the Northern Line and the Wirral Line, which run underground in central Liverpool and Birkenhead. The route is largely intact, however, a slight deviation north of Westhead where houses have been built on the old trackbed would be required. The state-of-the-art trains that will come into service by the end of 2020 will replace the near 40-year-old fleet … The result would be platforms released from urban use leaving the mainline station to focus on mid to long haul routes. The Outer Rail Loop would have been double track throughout and electrified using the 750 V DC third-rail system used by the Merseyrail Electrics network. One line running south from the city centre to Hunts Cross with the second line running north from the city centre to Southport, and the branches off this line to Ormskirk and Kirkby. In the 1960s during the planning for Merseyrail, this was developed into the Outer Rail Loop scheme - an electric rapid-transit passenger line circling the outer districts of the city by using a combination of newly electrified existing lines and a new link tunnel under the city centre merging lines to the north and south of the city centre completing the loop. The Mersey Railway was electrified in 1903 being the world's first full electrification of a steam railway. Stopping services running through Merseyside are sponsored by Merseytravel with stations given Merseyrail branding. [94] This delay may impede the efficiency of Liverpool docks container terminal which is being extended to accommodate the largest post-Panamax container ships increasing container throughput of the terminal by 25%, entailing increased usage of the line. [62][63][64] Part of the Spatial Regeneration Framework for the area includes a new Baltic Triangle railway station[65][66] The Gateacre service was the last to operate out of the former Liverpool Central High Level Station prior to its closure in 1972. English National Conc… [75][78], In a parliamentary debate on 27 April 2011, the Burscough Curves were a prime point of the debate. The network normally carries 110,000 passengers on weekdays and a total of 34 million passengers per year along its 75 miles of route with 68 stations. 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. As it was still necessary to accommodate a reversing siding to serve Central Low Level, and as the width of the high-level tunnel did not permit a three-track alignment, a new section of single-track tunnel was built for the Central to Garston line. A year later in 1978, the short line electrification from Walton to Kirkby extended the Merseyrail network, creating a Northern Line branch terminus and interchange station at Kirkby. 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. [72], Known as either the Canada Dock Branch line or the Bootle Branch line[91] is an unelectrified line running from Edge Hill Junction in the east of the city in a long curve to the container terminal to the north of the city. Network Rail investigated options for the Canada Dock Branch in its March 2009 Route Utilisation Strategy for Merseyside[93] and concluded that the expected benefits did not justify the investment in new infrastructure. Over the years, Merseyrail has pioneered a number of control and communications initiatives and is currently rolling out new ‘connected’ trains. The North Section - Originally the CLC line from Walton to Kirkdale via the Breeze Hill tunnel. This approach was backed up by the Merseyside Area Land Use and Transportation Study, the MALTS report. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Long Term Rail Strategy document of October 2017, page 37, states: It was announced in December 2019 that Liverpool City Council had commissioned a feasibility study to see about reopening the Canada Dock Branch to passenger traffic.[96]. As of March 2019 Merseytravel ticketing is transitioning to the local Walrus smartcard system, including Merseyrail travel.[9]. 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. As finally developed, the Outer Loop consisted of two sub-loops - serving the northern and southern suburbs with both running through the city centre from the east. [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. The first train operating company awarded the Mersey Rail Electrics franchise contract was MTL, originally the operating arm of the PTE, but privatised itself in 1985. Merseyrail is much more than that. In 1977, the Liverpool to Kirkby section of the Liverpool-to-Bolton route was electrified being merged into Merseyrail. The first part of the large comprehensive urban network was initially opened in 1977 by merging separate rail lines by constructing new tunnels under Liverpool city centre and Birkenhead. 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. [52] In March 2015 the Electrification Task force placed electrifying the line from Liverpool to Manchester via Warrington Central in the Tier 1 priority category. [60][74] The line was considered in the Merseyside Route Utilisation Strategy document, concluding that reopening could not yet be recommended. A number of lines have been targeted for electric 3rd rail/battery train trials, which will allow electric Merseyrail trains to operate on unelectrified track, which otherwise would be precluded from track electrification on cost grounds. Mossley Hill, West Allerton, Liverpool South Parkway, Hough Green, Widnes, Warrington Central, Padgate, Birchwood, Irlam, Flixton, Urmston, Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport, Liverpool South Parkway, Warrington West, Warrington Central, Birchwood, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Mauldeth Road and East Didsbury, Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool South Parkway, Widnes, Warrington Central and Manchester Oxford Road; trains continue to Nottingham and Norwich. 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. They are as follows: There have been various suggestions for ways to enlarge the Merseyrail network. A burrowing junction was constructed at Birkenhead Hamilton Square station, to increase traffic capacity on the Wirral Line by eliminating the flat junction to the west of the station. The City Line is a term used by the governing body Merseytravel referring to local Northern services it sponsors serving in its area operating on the Liverpool to Manchester Lines and Liverpool to Wigan Line. On 30 April 1977, Liverpool Exchange terminus station was closed as a part of the Link tunnel project to create the electrified Merseyrail north-south crossrail line named the Northern Line. At Ellesmere Port there is a minimal service to and from Warrington.[12]. 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. Jump straight to the station you are looking for using our Quick Search. The concept of using the former Cheshire Lines Committee's North Liverpool Extension Line[106] route through the eastern suburbs of Liverpool as the eastern section of a rapid-transit orbital route circling the outskirts of the city first emerged before the Second World War. The Met Office said icy stretches are likely to form perhaps leading to some disruption to travel with snow falling for some places. [12] This was followed by the separate Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway line from Liverpool Exchange to Southport, which was electrified in 1906. [12] The tunnelled route was extended to Liverpool Central in 1890. In 2015, Class 319 electric multiple units were transferred from the Thameslink route, refurbished, repainted in Northern livery and following the removal of the third rail collector shoes, are operating on the newly electrified lines between Liverpool, Wigan and Manchester, which incorporates the City Line. The enforcement of the 'feet on seat' by-law by Merseyrail was judged to be "draconian"[44] in September 2007; however, Merseyrail stated that it did not want to take offenders to court, but was not allowed to fine offenders otherwise (unlike people who smoke on trains or station platforms). This is down from an initial 76: twelve 508s were transferred to Connex South Eastern in 1996, and a further three were transferred to Silverlink to supplement its fleet of Class 313 EMUs in North London. [72], The Burscough Curves were short chords linking the Ormskirk to Preston Line with the Manchester to Southport Line. A tunnelled branch to Birkenhead Park was added in 1888 to connect with the Wirral Railway and the original line extended to Rock Ferry to connect with the Birkenhead Woodside to Chester line in 1891.[48]. (, 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, "Abellio Group Head Office" Group corporate website, Abellio, Utrecht, Netherlands, Undate, "Merseyrail corporate information | Merseyrail Electrics | Serco | Abellio", "Merseytravel reveals new £460m train fleet plans - with no train guards", "Stadler signs £700 million deal to replace the UK's oldest fleet on Liverpool's Merseytravel line", "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/, "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 Loop Line is a single-track loop tunnel under Liverpool's city centre serving the Wirral Line branches. The City Line was not included in the 2003 exemption, and so it has continued as part of the nationally administered rail franchise system. At that time, the lines out of Liverpool Exchange, Liverpool Central Low Level, Liverpool Central High Level and Liverpool Lime Street stations were completely separate. The rolling stock interchange section of the tunnel is not used for passenger traffic.[56]. [110] A feasibility study to reopen the Wapping Tunnel was commissioned and delivered in May 2016. 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. [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. Northern and City Line services interchange at Liverpool South Parkway and Hunts Cross in the south of the city. [85][86] These new trains have put the full electrification of the line on hold. The key components of the Loop were as follows: The West Section - The existing Merseyrail Electrics Northern Line from Sandhills in the north (later Aintree on the Ormskirk branch) to Hunts Cross. This would have the added benefit of diverting all local urban routes from the mainline terminus station at Lime Street to underground rail in Liverpool's centre. [32] Other depots at Hall Road and Birkenhead Central were closed in 1997, and the former was demolished in April 2009. All trains are being phased out in favour of the Class 777 trains. This included a new station tunnel at Hamilton Square to serve the lines to New Brighton and West Kirby. If realised Burscough Junction, Burscough Bridge, New Lane, Bescar Lane and Meols Cop stations may be incorporated into Merseyrail. The cheapest way to get from Old Swan to Northern line (Merseyrail) costs only £1, and the quickest way takes just 8 mins. Network Rail has recommended that a further feasibility study be carried out. The roles will be reversed once the Class 777 trains fully replace the existing fleet. Being the only line currently into Liverpool docks, freight to Seaforth Container Terminal ensures constant use. Upon sale on 2 March 1997, the first train operating company awarded the NWRR franchise contract was North Western Trains (owned by Great Western Holdings). If dual-voltage, overhead wire/third rail trains will be used for use on all of the Merseyrail network. In the 1969 MALTS report, this section is referred to as the Tawd Vale branch. The linking of the two tunnels had been envisaged when the Mersey Railway was extended to Central from James Street in the 1890s, with the Mersey Railway ensuring the two tunnels were on the same alignment. The line from Hooton to Ellesmere Port was electrified in 1994 and incorporated into the Wirral Line, Ellesmere Port thus also becoming a terminus and interchange station. Trains on the Merseyrail network at the moment are three carriages most of the time, with six car services during peak times. Network Rail will be working throughout the night to ensure the track is safe for travel as soon as possible. [25], The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers opposed driver-only operation on the new fleet, which they said would put passenger safety and security at risk. The Vivarail built trains will serve the line between Wrexham and Bidston. The train operating company was later bought by FirstGroup and rebranded First North Western. [58] Some would extend beyond the current area, while others would use former existing lines or track beds. The nearby Moorfields underground through station located on the new Line Link tunnel, serving the Northern and Wirral Lines, replaced Liverpool Exchange terminus station. Staff are available to help you 15 minutes before start of service and 15 minutes from the end of service. Car park and ticket office are step free. The existing electric and diesel hauled lines identified to become the new Merseyrail lines were given the names of 'Northern Line', 'Wirral Line' and 'City Line' respectively. The 34-year-old appeared before magistrates on Wednesday (January 6) in connection with an incident at Liverpool Central Station … [36], Operating as a self-contained network means there are relatively few problems because there is little conflict with other train operating companies. [24] This differs to the current fleet, which was built to a standard British Rail design for commuter services. The last regular passenger trains ran over the curves in 1962; the tracks were subsequently lifted. The Link Line tunnel is a double-track tunnel that links two lines. In June 2009, the Association of Train Operating Companies, in its Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network report, called for funding for the reopening of the line from Ormskirk to Skelmersdale as part of a £500m scheme to open 33 stations on 14 lines closed in the Beeching Axe, including seven new parkway stations. They run 59 trains serving 67 stations. [109] Further references are made to the scheme, as a future option, in MerseyTravel's 30-year plan. Merseyrail is referred to as "Merseyrail Electrics" by National Rail Enquiries, and as "Serco/Abellio Merseyrail" by Merseytravel. Rock Ferry railway station had been a terminus for Wirral Line services since the Mersey Railway was extended there from Green Lane in 1891. Although part of the original Merseyrail plan with construction started, the scheme was dropped. In 1978 the Northern Line extending south from Liverpool Central Station to Garston was made possible by inclining the tunnel into Central High Level from Garston to run down into the lower level tunnel entering Central Low Level from the opposite end of the station forming one continuous tunnel. The reopened line passed under the West Coast Main Line Liverpool branch at Allerton but needed to cross the old Cheshire Lines Committee line to Manchester on the flat, which affected capacity. Welsh Economy Secretary, Ken Skates, stated that the Welsh government were in an advanced stage of talks with Merseytravel about running a direct service from Wrexham to Liverpool. The east of Liverpool has suffered in many aspects ever since. 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