Merseyrail - Merseyrail Battery Train Trials - N

Merseyrail - N
Merseyrail Battery Train Trials
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Long Term Rail Strategy document of October 2017 stated that trials of new Merseyrail battery trains would be undertaken in 2020. The aim was to extend the electric network onto unelectrified track.
A number of lines were targeted for electric third rail/battery train trials, for network extension. Merseyrail Class 777 electric trains have the capability to operate on unelectrified track, which otherwise would not be considered for track electrification on cost grounds. The lines chosen for the trials are:
  • Ellesmere Port to Helsby: the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Long Term Rail Strategy document of October 2017 stated on page 37 that a trial of new Merseyrail battery trains will be undertaken in view to incorporate the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) stretch of track from Ellesmere Port to Helsby interchange station onto the Merseyrail network. A successful outcome may make Helsby one of the terminals of the Wirral Line replacing Ellesmere Port, with Stanlow and Thornton and Ince and Elton stations brought into the network.
  • Ormskirk to Preston: the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Long Term Rail Strategy document of October 2017 also mentioned on page 37 the incorporation of Preston onto the Merseyrail network by extending the Merseyrail Northern Line over 15 miles (24 km) from Ormskirk to Preston interchange station. The aim was to make Preston one of the terminals of the Northern Line, with Burscough Junction, Rufford and Croston stations brought onto the Merseyrail network. The document stated, "The potential use of battery powered Merseyrail units may improve the business case. This will be reviewed after the Merseyrail units have been tested for battery operation in 2020."
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority announced in July 2021 that the trial had been successful. The new units were able to travel up to 20 miles on the fitted batteries. This opens up the possibilities of the trains being used to serve other destinations such as Skelmersdale, Wrexham, Warrington and Runcorn.
Merseyrail Extending the Network Via Battery/Electrification
Many proposals to electrify lines adding them to the existing Merseyrail network have been proposed over past decades. However, in 2017 the Department for Transport announced that electrification of lines in Britain will only be where necessary with many planned projects cancelled. Bi-modal trains with combinations of battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and diesel engines are the preferred options.
Merseytravel purchased Class 777 trains incorporating battery electric technology, having conducted trials on sections of unelectrified track with a view to incorporate into Merseyrail. The successful trials will curtail future full electrification of track.
To meet the ambitions of the Liverpool City Region's Long Term Rail Strategy, Merseytravel have clear aspirations to extend the network beyond the current Merseyrail boundaries. Locations such as Skelmersdale, Wrexham and Warrington have been targeted. Many of the lines that were proposed over the decades to be electrified are under consideration for battery electric operation.
Merseyrail Overview
Owner: Merseytravel, Network Rail
Area Served: Liverpool City Region and surrounding areas
Liverpool City Region (Merseyside and Halton)
Transit Type: Commuter rail
Number of Lines: 2 (plus main line commuter services)
Number of Stations: 68 (66 managed)
Annual Ridership:
2019: 30.6 million
2020: 9.0 million
2021: 20.0 million
Chief Executive: Neil Grabham
Headquarters: Rail House, Liverpool
Merseyrail Operation
Began Operation: 1977 - 46 years ago
Operator(s): Serco-Abellio
Infrastructure Manager(s): Network Rail
Character: Commuter rail, National Rail franchise
Number of Vehicles: 57
Train Length: 3 cars, 6 cars during peak times
Headway: 15 minutes (general), 5 minutes (central sections), 30 minutes (Ellesmere Port branch, general in evenings and on Sundays)
Technical Track Gauge: 4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification: 750 V DC third rail
Rail Holidays
Rail Vacations
Luxury Trains
Luxury Tours
International Trains
International Tours
home Rail-Pass & Train Tickets & International Rail Holidays Hotel Booking & Hotel Reservations & Hotel Accomodation B&B Booking & B&B Reservations & B&B Accommodation Hostel Booking & Youth Hostel Reservations & Hostel Accommodation Chalet Rental & Holiday Homes & Vacation Homes Ski Pass Booking & Ski Pass Reservations & Ski Lift Pass Flight Tickets & Airline Reservations & Flight Booking Ferry Tickets & Ferry Booking & Ferry Reservations Car Rental Booking & Car Hire Reservations Excursions & Days Out & Day Trips & Theme Parks Rail Pass Booking & Rail Pass Reservations & Eurail & Interrail Rail Tickets & Rail Reservations & International Train Tickets Weekend Trips & Weekend Breaks & Weekend Away  Travel Insurance & Business Travel Insurance Eurotunnel Tickets & Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Reservations