Merseyrail - Merseyrail Future - M

Merseyrail - M
Merseyrail Future
There have been various suggestions for ways to enlarge the Merseyrail network. In August 2014, Merseytravel gave details of a 30-year plan for the network to be presented to the leaders of the city region.
Some proposals would extend beyond the current Liverpool City Region area, while others would use former existing lines or track beds inside the area. In November 2016 the details of the next phase of the Merseyrail fleet were announced.
If trains capable of use beyond the third-rail DC network are selected as replacements, various expansions can be achieved without electrification of the entire new route. The newly acquired Class 777 trains are capable of operating on non-electrified track, drawing this aspiration closer.
In July 2021, the metro-mayor of the Liverpool City Region announced that bi-modal battery electric Class 777 trains will operate on Merseyrail, extending the network. He stated "This capability means they could eventually provide a direct service from as far as Preston and Wrexham."
The Rail Strategy published in 2020 states:
Other options that could be further developed by funders or stakeholders (to meet connectivity based conditional outputs) following this study could be
  • Extending the Merseyrail network to Shotton (and possibly on to Wrexham);
  • Extending the Merseyrail network to Skelmersdale (and possibly on to Wigan Wallgate); and
  • Extending the Merseyrail network to Burscough Junction (and possibly on to Preston).
Merseyrail Proposed Future Stations
Merseyrail Liverpool Baltic Station
The former St James railway station, now disused, is located on the corner of St.James' Place and Parliament Street in the Baltic Triangle district, having been closed in 1917. The station is in a deep cutting on the operational Northern Line tunnel section between Liverpool Central Station and Brunswick Station.
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority announced in August 2019 that it was planning to use part of a £172 million funding package to reopen St James Station in Liverpool City Centre.
In 2020, a series of investments and land purchases advanced the case for a station at the site of St James in the Baltic Triangle. Part of the Spatial Regeneration Framework for the area includes a new Baltic Triangle railway station.
In April 2022, following a public vote, the new station was official confirmed as Liverpool Baltic station.
Merseyrail Headbolt Lane Station
In August 2019, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority announced that funding is available for the construction of a three platform station. The station will be the terminal of a Northern Line branch, and also an interchange on a Headbolt Lane to Manchester line via Wigan.
The platforms will be designed to accommodate any future Merseyrail extension to Skelmersdale. The station will accommodate a 300 space car park and bus interchange. In August 2021 network rail formally applied to Knowsley Borough Council for planning permission for a station.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority announced in July 2021 that Class 777 battery-electric trains will serve the new station on opening. The Merseyrail extension from Kirkby to Headbolt Lane will not be electrified.
Merseyrail Vauxhall station
In its 30-year plan of 2014, Merseytravel mentions the possibility of a new station between Moorfields and Sandhills in the Vauxhall area on the Northern Line. A station at this location would serve the under construction Everton F.C. stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is near to the Northern Line.
Merseyrail Tram-trains
In August 2009, it was reported that a new tram-train link to Liverpool John Lennon Airport and a link to Kings Dock from the east of the city had been proposed.
  • Liverpool John Lennon Airport: the existing Northern Line and the City Line from Liverpool Lime Street to Liverpool South Parkway are being assessed. From South Parkway the tram-trains would transfer to a new tramway. Merseytravel commissioned a feasibility study into increasing rail links with the airport in 1995 but no further work has been undertaken.
  • Kings Dock to Edge Hill: a link from Edge Hill in the east of the city to the Arena at Kings Dock in the city centre was also being considered.
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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