New Merseyrail Trains General Shot At Station
Steve Rotheram said Merseyrail is "keeping its head above water" during the Covid-19 pandemic

Next phase of Merseyrail upgrades announced

Closures at stations including Green Lane, Chester, and West Kirby are expected as Merseyrail continues preparing its network for new trains.

Both stations and stretches of railway are to be closed as the network carries out further upgrades which will allow Merseyrail to roll out the new trains from next year.

The closures will take place in September until October, with the longest running at Green Lane, where Chester and Ellesmere Port services will not be stopping at the station between 8 September and 20 October.

Other lines to be closed for periods in the next two months include Birkenhead to Chester; Bache to Chester; West Kirkby to Hoylake; Aintree to Walton; and Southport to Formby.

While the first round of upgrades to several of these liens and stations took place in October last year, Merseyrail said at some stations, “more work was needed than the initial surveys and design had foreseen”.

“The decision was made to return to these stations later this year so that other phases of work weren’t delayed, which could have caused confusion for passengers,” said Merseyrail.

Further works are planned later this year running into 2020 to ensure all stations and signalling infrastructure are upgraded to accommodate the new longer trains, which will also include on-board wi-fi.

Lucy Middleton, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “We’ve completed around 85% of our upgrades on the Merseyrail network to prepare platforms for the arrival of new trains and their innovative sliding step technology.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to complete all upgrade work at Rice Lane, Green Lane, West Kirby, Birkenhead North and Chester as the changes needed were more complex than we originally thought.

“We didn’t want to impact further phases in the programme and made the decision to delay this work until later in the year. We’re sorry to Merseyrail passengers for the further disruption to their journeys and would like to thank them for bearing with us.”

Andy Heath, managing director of Merseyrail, added: “This work is essential to prepare the network for the new state-of-the-art trains that will arrive next year, with sliding step technology that will allow unassisted access for all of our passengers.

“Plans are in place to minimise disruption as much as possible, with both high-quality rail replacement buses and our staff helping passengers to complete their journey during these short phases of work.”

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

Looking forward to modern trains a very must for this growing City

By Anonymous

New connections in talk for Airpor, t Baltic and Everton waterfront Stadium

By John

I think Baltic/St. James is the one that can be delivered fastest. Much of the infrastructure is there already and will have a huge impact. The airport should be top priority after that but this will be the most expensive. Everton’s new stadium is actually only 10 minutes walk from Sandhills station, but a new station for the North Shore near Ten Streets would transform the prospects for Liverpool Waters, Vauxhall and the new creative district.
The new trains will give Liverpool a much better city centre metro but new connections to this are vital too!

By Roscoe

Good news but Liverpool is lucky to have such a heavily subsidised system. The government have been very generous.

By Statist Watch

@status Watch, the government have been generous? Where about !

By Anonymous

Anonymous – Merseyrail is a heavily subsidised system, paid for by UK taxpayers. I wouldn’t call this ‘generous’ necessarily as I think all public transport should be subsidised, but I think that’s what ‘Statist Watch’ was getting at

By Anonymous

Merseyrail is the BUSIEST urban rail system outside London and by definition is therefore NOT heavily subsidised. The two main branches of the Northern Line and Wirral line, Liverpool to Southport and Liverpool to Chester, run every 15 minutes from 6.00 am till midnight and the trains are packed! Not like that tram line to Manchester Airport via Wythenshaw that is almost empty in the evenings.
Would ‘do-down-Liverpool’ commentators from the Manchester area who are clearly motivated by jealousy and know nothing about it please but out!

By Roscoe

What are they to be jealous of exactly ?
Merseyrail is subsidised
Metrolink has higher passenger figures.
Why have you brought Metrolink into this good news piece about Merseyrail

By To-Roscoe

Roscoe – Merseyrail IS heavily subsidised, no matter how busy it is.

It’s funny you should bring up Metrolink as last time I checked it actually runs to a surplus, doesn’t require any government cash and actually makes a profit.

Underground stations and their maintenance are expensive, I suspect that’s what pushes Merseyrail into being expensive. London Underground is also heavily subsidised, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just funny when certain Liverpool posters try and claim that it’s a ‘forgotten city’ and the government doesn’t care. They clearly do care, else they wouldn’t subsidise your metro network!

By Anonymous

@Roscoe – take a deep breath.

By Anonymous

Mersey rail funded by a council precept ,European funding ! borrowing and fare income ….and a few very small government capital grants

By Graham

Why are we slating Manchester when they do it better than us?

Comparing Liverpool’s busiest train routes to Manchester’s quietest tram routes is complete nonsense, especially when Manchester has a busy train route between the city and the airport as well!

It’s you that needs to but out of embarrassing our city Roscoe.

By Typical Twoddle

How many billions were spent on the Manchester trams in the last 20 years? Yes, Manchester needed it. Merseyrail has had no such major capital spending since the 70s. Yes, one’s capital the other’s revenue but it all counts!
Our network is bursting at the seams and it needs more investment in stations. Most of our underground tunnels were built with private money during the 19th century. The more we connect these up the greater will be the success of our city and the more our economy will thrive and contribute to the exchequer. Liverpool is a strategically important city, even more so if Brexit happens, (and I hope it doesn’t). The Government will need to make the most of the country’s assets, and Liverpool is one of the biggest.

By Roscoe

Not sure what definition you’re using Roscoe but Merseyrail is in receipt of one of the heaviest operating subsidy of any TOC in the country. By contrast Metrolink is profit making and self sufficient.

By Statist Watch

Not sure of your definitions but our trains are funded locally apart from very small (compared to Metrolink) capital grants. We have had devolved transport since the 70s. We subsidise our old people’s travel passes more generously than anywhere outside London but this is locally funded. Merseytravel overseas the rail system the tunnels and the ferries and there are cross subsidies but it is accounted for and generated locally.

By Roscoe

Take a break from Sim City.
Move away from the keyboard.
Walk outside, take a big breath of that scouse air and get over Manchester.

By Tinkywinky

I rarely comment on Manchester, but where else do comments against Merseyrail come from.
And why? Liverpool doesn’t need to compare itself with Manchester, but it does need to argue for investment in its own infrastructure to realise its full potential. And I’m not at a keyboard by the way.

By Roscoe

Some of these comments are ridiculous and very sad to read, especially as they may be from professional people [supposedly]!!? Two very close cities in an ever bigger and competitive world and bicker bicker bicker…. yawn.
(Not from either city originally)

By Keith

I agree Keith it is sad. The two cities should support each other. At least if we all decided not to disrespect the other that would be progress. They are stuck together like Siamese twins.
People from other countries can’t understand the apparent enmity.
There is a rivalry and I guess it’s not going away soon, but it would be good if, where this bothers people, if they could stick to commenting on their own city unless they have something positive or at least constructive to say about the other. A wish and a prayer.

By Roscoe

Has there been an update of the Liverpool City Region Long Term Rail Strategy, published in 2014? It proposes a fixed rail link to Liverpool Airport in 2034, by which time the area will be so built up that it will mean very expensive tunneling. An airport rail link is needed NOW. Fixed rail links to every other airport in the North are part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail plans and are Government funded. Why isn’t Liverpool Airport included? Have we not asked to be included?

By Deep Thinker

This is a bobbins string, Metrolink has had a large share of its capital costs supported by government, and arguably should have fares supported too, but its a pragmatic response to a clear need. Both cities need strong transit systems, we need to stop this sad bickering.

By Rich X

Agree with Rich. Both cities need strong transport systems. I’ve worked for Liverpool, Manchester, and north Wales authorities by the way. I don’t work for any of them now, but I can see the need for better transport across the whole of the north for the benefit of us all.

By Roscoe

Not sure of some of the figures and ‘facts’ some have used here.
According to official figures (including Action for Rail and the OCC) Merseyrail receives the fourth lowest subsidy of the top 12 TOCs at £74m 17/18. Northernrail £668m, HS2 £2.1 BILLION, for the same period; HS1???, Crossrail 1 what £17B+, Crossrail 2 estimated at £45B; of which northerners will pay as much towards as Londoners
Roscoe is also factually correct in that Merseyrail is the busiest rail network outside of London, and pro-rata passenger/subsidy recieves third lowest in UK. The anti Liverpool TROLLs should learn how to read and understand facts, first.
lets get real….where is the money going?

By Billy

Fascinating figures Billy, particularly given HS2 is not operational and Crossrail isn’t projected to be fully operational until 2020. Would be fascinated to understand how you’ve calculated operational subsidy. Please enlighten.

By Silly Billy

The new Mersey rail trains are great but they don’t have toliets on them that should off been thought about that is heath and safety

By Christian Holder

The new Mersey rail trains are great but they don’t have toliets on them that should off been thought about that is heath and safety but a part from the great

By Christian Holder