Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be further significant changes to Merseyrail services from Thursday 2 April 2020. Trains will now operate a 30-minute service on all lines between 07:00 -19:00 Monday to Saturday, with a limited additional service from 19:00 to 22:00 on some lines. Trains will operate between 08:00 - 20:00 on Sundays.
Reliability, punctuality and passenger satisfaction
Merseyrail is one of the highest performing and most reliable rail operators in the country. In the Spring 2018 National Rail Passenger Survey it was named as one of the top 3 rail companies in the UK and the number one franchised operator. It was also named the most punctual rail operator for 2018/19, with 95.51% of trains running punctually.
A new fleet of state-of-the-art trains will arrive on the network in 2020 to replace the current fleet of 40-year-old trains. The new trains will carry more passengers, shorten journey times and will have the potential to extend off the network to place like Skelmersdale, Warrington and Wrexham.
The operator has modernised significantly in recent years, launching trials for its smart ticketing scheme in October 2017. Merseyrail fully introduced smart cards in 2018 with Railpasses loaded onto Walrus cards, and more tickets will be available using this method in the future. The vision is to work towards online ticketing and making travelling easier with just a contactless bank card required.
Ainsdale station re-opened in July 2018 following an extensive refurbishment to make it the most eco-friendly station on the Merseyrail network. Solar panels, smart LED lighting and water harvesting tanks for the toilets are just some of the improvements that have been made. The design achieved a CEEQUAL rating of ‘Excellent’ for its green credentials.
A new station, Maghull North, opened on the network in June 2018 and Merseyrail services now run to 68 stations. The station is within a new housing estate and provides improved access to local transport for residents in the Maghull area.
Working with local people
Collaboration with the local community is of great importance to Merseyrail and there is an extensive engagement programme with various local organisations. This includes partnerships with community groups, educating school children and vulnerable groups about the railways and Merseyrail’s 49 station adoption schemes with more than 100 volunteers creating enjoyable outdoor environments.
Over £800,000 has been raised for local causes through Merseyrail’s Charity of the Year initiative since the start of the concession agreement in 2003. In 2018, Merseyrail raised over £30,000 for Merseyside & Cheshire Blood Bikes. The 2019 Charity of the Year is Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
Merseyrail is a multi-award winning network, regularly gaining recognition for its service and commitment to the environment.
In 2018, Merseyrail won three times at the National Rail Awards, scooping the coveted Passenger Operator of the Year award, while also taking home two other major category wins:
- Customer Service Excellence for the Wirral Loop Line track renewal project in 2017
- Sustainable Development Award for its commitment to sustainability projects and its community engagement programme
Merseyrail is the first single operator to win three awards at the event, and also had Liverpool South Parkway Highly Commended in the Station of the Year (Large) category.
Following a six-month closure of the underground loop line of the network in Liverpool city centre, Merseyrail won ‘Best Collaboration of Marketing and Customer Service’ category at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSAs) in 2017.
The Marketing and Customer Relations team were also winners of the Marketing Communications Person or Team of the Year at the Railstaff Awards for the same project.
The business was further announced winners of the Excellence in Sustainability and Society award at the British Quality Foundation UK Excellence Awards in 2019 - the culmination of efforts from staff across the organisation.
A member of Merseyrail’s Stations team was recognised at The National Rail Awards in 2017 for Outstanding Personal Contribution – Life Changer, for his actions when saving the life of a passenger.