Merseyrail - Merseyrail Fleet - D

Merseyrail - D
Merseyrail Fleet
Merseyrail Current Fleet
Services on the electrified Merseyrail network are operated by British Rail Class 507 and Class 508 electric multiple unit trains (EMUs). These replaced pre-war Class 502 (originally constructed by the LMS) and similar Class 503 EMUs. There are 57 trains in service on the network.
The fleet was refurbished between 2002 and 2005 by Alstom at a cost of £32 million, involving trainsets being transported to and from Eastleigh works behind Class 67 locomotives. Improvements to the trains included new high-backed seating, interior panel replacement, new lighting, the installation of a Passenger Information System and a new external livery.
On 28 January 2020, Swiss rolling-stock manufacturer Stadler Rail provided the first of a new fleet of 53 new train sets, designated Class 777, built at Stadler's factory in Bussnang, Switzerland. The final units were due to enter service in 2021.
The trains are based on the METRO platform, Stadler's product family for underground trains also used on the Berlin U-Bahn and the Minsk Metro. The new trains are a custom-built, bespoke design specifically for the Merseyrail network, with driver only and guard capability.This differs from the previous fleet, which was built to a standard British Rail design for commuter services.
The new trains have an articulated four-car design, compared to the previous three-car units, with a significantly increased overall capacity and faster acceleration and deceleration, which gives reduced journey times. A combination of reduced weight of 99 tonnes, representing a 5.5 tonne weight reduction, and more efficient electrical systems will give a 20% reduction in energy use.
The trains are flexible, being capable of operating on a combination of any of 750 V DC third rail, 25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead wires, or full battery operation using a five-tonne battery, provided they have the correct equipment installed, giving operation beyond the current network. As of April 2021, all trains are only equipped for 750 V DC third rail operation, along with a smaller battery for depot shunting.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers opposed driver-only operation on the new fleet, which they said would put passenger safety and security at risk. Following a period of strike action, an agreement was reached to guarantee a guard on every train.
Merseytravel has an option for a further 60 Class 777 units as part of the contract, which if exercised would see a total of 113 trains built if services are extended to new destinations such as Helsby, Skelmersdale or Wrexham.
The deal also involves the transfer of 155 of Merseyrail's maintenance workers and the operation of its maintenance depot at Kirkdale to Stadler Rail Service. The transfer of Kirkdale depot and Merseyrail engineering personnel took place in October 2017, as construction work to modernise the depot, which is the planned maintenance hub for the Class 777s, commenced.
The first Class 777 unit entered into service on the Northern Line on 23 January 2023. Initially they are being used on the Kirkby route, followed by the Ormskirk route. The remaining units will be deployed to the rest of the Northern Line and the Wirral Line later in 2023.
  • 507   EMU
All Northern Line services
All Wirral Line services   1978–present
  • 508   EMU
All Northern Line services
All Wirral Line services   1979–present
  • 777 METRO   EMU   BEMU
Liverpool Central to Kirkby
Liverpool Central to Ormskirk
All Northern Line services (TBA)
All Wirral Line services (TBA)   2023–present
Merseyrail Future Fleet
Merseyrail Battery Trains
The Class 777 trains are capable of being propelled via onboard battery sets. The battery set per car can be up to 5 tonnes in weight. The batteries can be charged via a rail terminal charger and while operating on electrified tracks.
When the Headbolt Lane extension was unveiled to the public, it was also announced that the original order of 52 units was increased to 53 to allow for some units to undergo battery trials.
Following on from the trial, it was announced in July 2021 that the units tested had been able to travel up to 20 miles (32 km) without the need for recharging.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority stated that the battery-powered trains will run to the new Headbolt Lane station at Kirkby which is due to open in 2023. The technology opens up the possibility of the trains being able to serve on routes to destinations such as Wrexham, Preston, Wigan and Warrington.
Merseyrail Past Fleet
The original service on the Merseyrail lines was provided by Class 502s on the Northern Line and Class 503s on the Wirral Line. The former was withdrawn by 1980 and the latter by 1985.
Introduced from 1978 and 1979 respectively were 33 Class 507 and 43 Class 508 trains. Since the 1990s, fifteen Class 508s have been withdrawn as surplus and have later transferred to other operators, with three Class 507 and 508 units, including unit 507006 after a crash at Kirkby in March 2021, written off following accidents. In 2022, further withdrawals of the trains began, having been replaced by Class 777.
The following table shows trains withdrawn since 2022.
  • 507   EMU
All Northern Line services
All Wirral Line services   2022-2023
  • 508/1   EMU
All Northern Line services
All Wirral Line services   2022-2023
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
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