Merseyrail – Testing the new Class 777’s

A mock-up of a Class 777 – The new Merseyrail trains that will soon replace the Class 507/508 EMU’s

I’ve not actually snapped a new Class 777 live so the two shots in this posting are of the the mock-up which was on public view a while back at Liverpool Lime Street Station and Pacific Road in Birkenhead. However, there are videos appearing on You Tube now of the testing of the first batch of new units on the Merseyrail Network and here’s a link to one:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOzovLI3Qno&feature=youtu.be

This shows a Class 777 at Sandhills and at Bootle Oriel Road only yesterday evening.

A mock-up of a Class 777 Stadler EMU as displayed in Birkenhead a while back

Haskayne – The views from Old Lane/Old Moss Lane railway Bridge

On Downholland Moss there’s a lonely former railway bridge, just to the west of Haskayne Village, which still carries Old Lane/Old Moss Lane over the trackbed of the now long gone Liverpool, Southport & Preston Junction Railway and subsequently Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway branch. It left/joined the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway just north of Altcar & Hillhouse Station, at Hillhouse Junction, and headed off via Barton, Halsall, Shirdley Hill, Meols Cop etc. to swing around Southport.

Here are today’s views both west and east:-

Looking west and the curve of the line south can be seen by following the hedge line. The former junction just north of Altcar & Hillhouse Station being just a short distance away.

The eastern view, with the bridge parapet visible along the bottom of the photo, shows the line all but obliterated looking towards Barton.

And to help us orientate with the landscape here’s a scan of an old Ordnance Survey map dated 1992:-

Old Lane railway bridge is right in the middle of the map extract.

I took the photos whilst out on one of my solo fitness cycle rides recently.

Click on the photos and map to enlarge them

Maghull – ALDI are proposing to march into Town

The site for the proposed new ALDi store photographed whilst road works for the rebuilt Alt junction were still ongoing.

I was asked yesterday if I knew anything about ALDI opening up a store on the old car showroom site as you come into Maghull from Switch Island. I didn’t. But that was yesterday and today a resident living near to the proposed site for the new ALDI store got in touch to pass on the link to the ALDI consultation that is now doing the rounds – see that link below:-

aldiconsultation.co.uk/maghull/

It was only a few days ago that I raised concerns about the recently rebuilt junction adjacent to this site – my blog posting is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2020/05/26/maghull-a59-alt-junction-reconstruction/

Of course I knew nothing of proposals for this site when I penned that posting but I wonder how an additional business accessing the A59 right next to the new junction will work? The car showroom did not have many vehicle movements into and out of it whereas a busy retail food shop will.

Older Maghull residents will recall that the River Alt end of the site used to have a business selling sheds and greenhouses on it.

With thanks to Andrew Blackburn for the lead to this posting

Maghull – A59 Alt Junction Reconstruction

A couple of locals had mentioned to me that they thought this new junction was, in the eyes of a motorist too messy to navigate and in the eyes of a pedestrian a long walk, so I thought I’d cycle through it to see for myself.

I firstly approached it from Liverpool Road South and stopped to try to work out where a cyclist should be to cross over to Dover Road. I worked it out but had my reservations about it being a safe cycle route. I then attempted it from the Dover Road side trying to get to Liverpool Road South. I gave up thinking it was too dangerous and followed the pedestrian route which, as I’d been told, is indeed a long walk.

What strikes me about this junction is that it has been designed for vehicles but sadly pedestrians and particularly cyclists seem to have been very much an after thought. How on earth in 2020 can you design a new junction without incorporating a safe cycle route through it?

The A59 is already a Berlin-type wall right through Maghull and Lydiate and the addition of this new junction has sadly, in my view, only made this situation worse.

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Bidston – Wrexham Line and its new rolling stock

We may still be in lockdown and being advised not to use public transport if at all possible but one day we’ll get past this health crisis and be able to ride trains and buses once more.

Being a railway enthusiast I try to keep an eye on what is happening across Merseyside and was interested to pick up on the latest developments for the Borderlands Line between Bidston and Wrexham which is now operated by Transport for Wales.

We knew that new Class 230 train units, with the ability to run on battery power, were being supplied for the route by Vivarail so news of the testing of these units seemingly being successful is obviously welcome. Here are a couple of links about the new units and their testing:-

vivarail.co.uk/first-trip-on-230006/

vivarail.co.uk/new-images-of-230006-on-the-mainline/

Quote from Vivarail website article ‘the UK’s first battery hybrid being built for Transport for Wales to operate the Borderlands (Wrexham-Bidston) line. The train is powered by 2 batteries on each driving car with 4 gensets on the middle car to charge the batteries and as a secondary source of traction.’

In the medium to long term I still hold the view that this line should become a part of the Merseyrail network.

My thanks to Jonathan Cadwallader for the lead to this posting.

Recycling on Merseyside – It’s presently a rubbish experience!

Having left it a while since Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) started to reopen its recycling centres I realised I had wood, metal and and a huge amount of garden waste to recycle. So what to do? Check which recycling centres are open, what’s the waiting times etc.

Well the internet was not a great deal of help other then telling me which ones were open. No live waiting times, no web cams of waiting vehicles, nothing to help me or you assess whether a journey to a recycling centre is worthwhile. Ho well, fill up the car and let’s see how we go. BIG mistake!

It’s about 6 miles from my Lydiate home to South Sefton Recycling Centre in Bootle but when I got there earlier today the queue was massive. Finding my way to the end of it I asked a young lady who was directing traffic how long it takes to get into the centre. At least 2 hours came the response! Well I can think of better things to do than sit in a queue with a car full of rubbish, so you won’t be surprised to hear that I headed home having given the junk a trip out.

But I return to the lack of live information on the internet. I wasted petrol, time and most importantly I added to our climate crises by using my car for a wasted/pointless/unnecessary journey. If I’d known how bad the queue was I’d not have set off in the first place!

And another thing, why would I or you be willing to spend 2 or more hours in a queue for a recycling centre? Maybe it’s me and my lack of willingness to queue for pretty much anything. I’ve never got the British queuing thing which so amuses folk from other countries.

‘If it’s worth queuing up for it’s not worth having’ as the old saying goes

Come on MWDA you can do better than the very limited amount of information you put on your website. I took my rubbish back home and will try another day in the future but as the photo at the head of this posting shows, the irresponsible will and do dump their rubbish in country lanes and ditches.