Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merseyrail will be running a reduced timetable, with trains every 30 minutes on all lines. There are likely to be further amendments to our timetable over the coming weeks, and we encourage all customers to check before you travel. We ask passengers to follow government advice and avoid unnecessary travel. Our priority is to provide a service for key workers and essential journeys. There are changes to Wirral line services on Sunday 29th March, please check before you travel.
Arriving from 2020, and with a wide range of new customer-focused features and functions, your new, state-of-the-art trains will transform how you travel. The trains are being built and maintained by Swiss-based manufacturer, Stadler, and will replace the near 40-year-old fleet that currently runs on the network – one of the oldest in the UK.
The new trains will be safer – most notably in the ease in which everyone can get on and off, with step-free access thanks to a sliding step. It will make Merseyrail the most accessible, traditional network in the country.
More room for passengers
The trains will be able to carry 50% more passengers while retaining the same number of seats. This will help them better cater for rising passenger numbers, both now and in the future.
The scheme includes infrastructure upgrades to power supplies, platforms and track, as well as refurbishment of the depots at Kirkdale and Birkenhead North and the on-going maintenance of the trains.
Pushing the boundaries
The trains will have the capabilities to eventually run beyond the current Merseyrail boundaries to places like Skelmersdale, Wrexham and Warrington, meeting the ambitions of the Liverpool City Region’s Long Term Rail Strategy.
The new trains will have more space for bikes, buggies, disabled passengers and luggage; intelligent air conditioning; a bright, open and airy saloon, and a mix of seating types, keeping some of the ‘sociable’ facing seats – features local people have said are important to them through ground-breaking work with transport watchdog Transport Focus.
Platform & power upgrades
Vital upgrades are being carried out on around 100 Merseyrail platforms to help make sure the network is ready for the new state-of-the-art trains and their sliding step technology from 2020.
This technology will make it much easier for people, including wheelchair users and those with prams and luggage to get on and off the trains.
In order to improve journey times, additional power infrastructure is also required. This includes new connections to Scottish Power’s network and additional substations, doubling the system’s power.
The enhanced system will enable regenerative braking which will reduce energy consumption and the railway’s carbon footprint.
The new trains’ project also includes modernisation of the depots at Kirkdale and Birkenhead North with a new workshop, offices, stores, washplant and a state-of-the-art simulator for driver training.
The first of the new trains arrived in the Liverpool City Region in January to undergo further testing before being introduced on the network, with more to follow.
Images of the new trains: