Improved services through new rail links.
New services between Liverpool and Chester, and in the future North Wales, will be made possible through the re-signalling and upgrading of existing single direction track on the Halton Curve. The existing line, which currently runs a one way passenger service in the summer, will be upgraded to provide a two- way hourly service.
The project is funded by the Liverpool City Region through the Local Growth Fund and Merseytravel. It is also endorsed by the Welsh Government and Cheshire West and Chester Council.
The re-opening of the ‘Halton Curve’ will open up leisure and work opportunities by offering new connections between Liverpool, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Runcorn, Frodsham, Helsby, Chester and, in future, North Wales. It is expected that the new services would offer more than 200,000 new rail journeys between Liverpool and Chester alone.
Work started on site in June 2017 and is due to be completed by May 2018, with services due to operate from December 2018. Discussions are taking place with the Welsh Government to extend this service into North Wales in the future.
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To enable faster services between Liverpool and towns and cities in the north, an additional track will be installed between Huyton and Roby stations.
This extra track will allow faster intercity services to overtake local stopping services along this route. This work will complement the station and improvements already undertaken at Huyton in 2014.
Much of the work has already been undertaken in 2014. This final phase will be completed in the summer and autumn of 2017 to coincide with the remodelling work to Liverpool Lime Street.
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Re-signalling work on 16 miles of track between Edge Hill Station in the north and Winsford to the south will help to deliver a more reliable railway and restore rail services much quicker whenever there is failure to the network.
This work will enable faster decision making on the railway, minimising delays by moving control of signals to a state-of-the-art rail operating centre as part of Network Rail’s wider modernisation programme.
Enabling works have already began and the next major phase of work will be on the May bank holidays in 2017 and in 2018.
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New, state-of-the-art trains will come into service on the Merseyrail network by 2020. The project, led by Merseytravel on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, will replace trains that are approaching 40 years old - amongst the oldest in the UK.
Infrastructure works such as power upgrades and improvements to platforms will form part of the £460m programme.
The trains will be modern, safe, fast and comfortable. They will be able to carry more people, more quickly, helping support the economic growth of the City Region, and with the potential to run on an extended network to places like Wrexham, Skelmersdale and Warrington.
The first train is expected be delivered in summer 2019 with testing and commissioning then taking a few months. After the first train gets the green light to enter service, there will be a gradual roll-out of the new fleet over 12 months, with the last train delivered at the end of 2020. In 2021, once all the old trains are off the network, the new, faster timetable can be introduced.
For more information visit www.merseytravel.gov.uk/newtrains