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Merseyrail

From Academic Kids

Merseyrail is the name given to the electric commuter train network centred on Liverpool and Birkenhead. The name was originally used as the official brand for the network in the days of British Rail, and has stuck colloquially through numerous franchise holders.

A 507 class train, number 507026, one of two classes used on the network, at  station.
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A 507 class train, number 507026, one of two classes used on the network, at Southport station.

Merseyrail is one of the most frequent British commuter systems outside London, with services running (on average) every 15 minutes during weekday daytime, and 30 minutes at evenings and weekends. Services run on two lines covering the Liverpool suburban area and greater Merseyside, with a total track length of 120 km and 67 stations. The Wirral Line, extending under the River Mersey, links Liverpool with New Brighton, West Kirby, Chester and Ellesmere Port. The Northern Line links Liverpool with Southport, Ormskirk, Kirkby and Hunts Cross. A third line, the City Line, runs from Liverpool Lime Street and Hunts Cross, serving eastern Merseyside. It formed part of the franchise until 2003, but is now considered separately by the Strategic Rail Authority as it forms part of the West Coast Main Line and north-western regional services, and runs services outside the isolated network region.

Missing image
508125.jpg
Refurbished set 508125 at Liverpool Central. These upgrades will be completed on all rolling stock on the network by June 2005.

The Merseyrail network is entirely electrified using third-rail electrification.

Following the privatisation of the UK rail network, the Merseyrail service was run first by Merseyside Transport Ltd (MTL) under the name Merseyrail Electrics, then Arriva Trains Merseyside, before its award to a consortium of Serco and NedRailways (a division of Nederlandse Spoorwegen) in 2003. The current franchise is contracted to the consortium for an initial 25-year period.

Uniquely in the UK, the Merseyrail franchise (referred to officially as a 'contract') is awarded by the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive rather than the SRA, because the franchise is self-contained and totally separate from the rest of the British rail network.

Services on the Merseyrail network are operated by the 1978-built Class 507 and 1979-built Class 508 EMU's. There are a total of 59 trains in service on the network. Twelve 508s were bought by Connex (South Eastern) in 1996, a further three were later obtained by Silverlink for use with their present fleet of Class 313 EMU's on the North London electric lines. One Class 507 (Unit 507022) was scrapped after a collision with Unit 507004 in 1991, and Unit 508118 has been cut up after having been gutted by an arson attack.

To celebrate the successful 2008 Capital of Culture bid for Liverpool, Merseyrail named one of their train sets (508136) 'Capital of Culture'. Interestingly, a previous ceremony took place where Cherie Blair, Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife, named a Merseyrail train Capital of Culture in a ceremony. The set involved was 508143 and official nameplates were applied; these had to be later removed having been covered in graffiti. 508136 bears simple vinyl stickers.

Contents

Network stations

Northern Line

Southport – Hunts Cross Branch

  • Southport
  • Birkdale
  • Hillside
  • Ainsdale
  • Freshfield
  • Formby
  • Hightown
  • Hall Road
  • Blundellsands & Crosby
  • Waterloo
  • Seaforth & Litherland
  • Bootle New Strand
  • Bootle Oriel Road
  • Bank Hall
  • Sandhills
  • Moorfields
  • Liverpool Central
  • Brunswick
  • St. Michaels
  • Aigburth
  • Cressington
  • Garston (Will close in December 2005)
  • Liverpool South Parkway (Will open in December 2005)
  • Hunts Cross

Ormskirk – Liverpool Branch

  • Ormskirk
  • Aughton Park
  • Town Green
  • Maghull
  • Old Roan
  • Aintree
  • Orrell Park
  • Walton
  • Kirkdale
  • Sandhills
  • Moorfields
  • Liverpool Central

Kirkby – Liverpool Branch

  • Kirkby
  • Fazakerley
  • Rice Lane
  • Kirkdale
  • Sandhills
  • Moorfields
  • Liverpool Central

Wirral Line

New Brighton – Liverpool Loop Branch

  • New Brighton
  • Wallasey Grove Road
  • Wallasey Village
  • Birkenhead North
  • Birkenhead Park
  • Conway Park
  • Hamilton Square
  • James Street
  • Moorfields
  • Lime Street
  • Liverpool Central

West Kirby – Liverpool Loop Branch

  • West Kirby
  • Hoylake
  • Manor Road
  • Meols
  • Moreton
  • Leasowe
  • Bidston
  • Birkenhead North
  • Birkenhead Park
  • Conway Park
  • Hamilton Square
  • James Street
  • Moorfields
  • Lime Street
  • Liverpool Central

Chester – Liverpool Loop Branch

  • Chester
  • Bache
  • Capenhurst
  • Hooton
  • Eastham Rake
  • Bromborough
  • Bromborough Rake
  • Spital
  • Bebington
  • Rock Ferry
  • Green Lane
  • Birkenhead Central
  • Hamilton Square
  • James Street
  • Moorfields
  • Lime Street
  • Liverpool Central

Ellesmere Port – Liverpool Loop Branch

  • Ellesmere Port
  • Overpool
  • Little Sutton
  • Hooton
  • Eastham Rake
  • Bromborough
  • Bromborough Rake
  • Spital
  • Bebington
  • Rock Ferry
  • Green Lane
  • Birkenhead Central
  • Hamilton Square
  • James Street
  • Moorfields
  • Lime Street
  • Liverpool Central

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