Merseyrail Tour raising funds for Alder Hey

Merseyrail Class 508 EMU at Maghull Station

I’ve been informed that there’s a rail tour coming up on the Merseyrail network on Sunday 26th January 2020. The tour will be raising funds for Merseyrail’s charity of the year, Alder Hey Children’s charity.

The tour can be booked from the Branch Line Society (BLS) website www.branchline.uk/current-fixtures.php and is charged at £25.08 per person. This is a relatively cheap price as in previous years the BLS tour on the MR network has been charged at a higher price.

The tour involves coverage of all lines of the MR network including the stock interchange line (transfer between the Northern and Wirral line, not usually used for passenger service), Sandhills reverse sidings, arrival/departure from platform 2 at Hunts Cross and use of a number of less used platforms on the Wirral line. Full details of the tour are provided in the link above.

Depending on the progress with the introduction of the new fleet this time next year, this could be the last rail tour operated by the Class 507/508’s.

The previous tour on Merseyrail (The Branch Line Society’s Bootle Brush hauled by Class 47’s) in December 2019 prompted a number of people comment on the lack of notice of such tours taking place so here’s some notice of the up and coming one.

My thanks to Craig for the lead to this posting

A Merseyrail electric Class 507 EMU at Bootle New Strand Station.

Merseyrail – How to couple two 507/508 Units – A question I’m always being asked:-)

A Merseyrail train passes the former Maghull Signal Box @1990. The last track plan from the box is now on display as part of the Frank Hornby Trust’s exhibition area within Meadows Leisure Center – Copyright Noted HSG

For all of you out there who have pondered on how to join/couple two Class 507/508 Merseyrail EMU’s here’s an instructional video which will answer your queries:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOY3lFO8XMg

A Merseyrail train at Bootle Oriel Road Station

Of course you will, having digested this useful information, have to start to ponder all over again soon as Merseyrail is updating its fleet to Stadler 777 EMU’s in the near future.

Maghull – Views of our presently closed down railway

I decided to have a good look at what Network Rail and their contractors are up to whilst the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line of Merseyrail has been shut down for enabling works to take place so the stations are ready for the new class 777 Stadler EMU’s in 2020. All the photos were taken on 5th November.

The first couple of shots show the ongoing platform works at Maghull Station:-

This next shot in effect shows why the works are being done at stations across the Merseyrail network:-

If you look carefully (it may be best to click on the photo to see it enlarged) you will see that the floor of the new trains will be level with the platforms and a small gap filler will come out when the train stops at a station. This is so that people with disabilities, wheelchairs, and bikes can be wheeled straight onto the new trains without the need for station staff to meet trains with portable ramps as at present with the current 507/508 trains.

Here’s a look back at Maghull Station from Poverty Lane and a look northwards from Poverty Lane in the direction of Maghull North Station. Clearly, other works were being undertaken during the shut down such as cutting back overgrowing trees:-

We then move on to the new Maghull North Station where I think that snagging work from the previous works was taking place. There was scaffolding around the lift towers but I could not get a close look as I was advised to leave the station by a member of Merseyrail’s staff. I had wandered onto the station footbridge and had not seen any warning signs but advised to leave I was. The following photo was taken looking back at the station from the Park lane overbridge:-

And finally a look north from the Park Lane overbridge in the direction of Town Green Station. Again other works were clearly taking place in the distance during the shut down of the line:-

Click on any of the photos to enlarge them

Merseyrail’s Northern Lines – Posting 2 – The Southport Line

A random selection of photos taken along the Liverpool – Southport Line:-

Please click on the photos to enlarge them

Looking towards Bank Hall Station which is just beyond the road over-bridge.

Looking towards Bank Hall Station which is just beyond the road over-bridge.

This former railway tunnel once took a railway line under the Liverpool - Southport line at Bootle Strand Station. It is now a pedestrian walkway with the Strand Shopping Centre car park visible through it.

This former railway tunnel once took a railway line under the Liverpool – Southport line at Bootle Strand Station. It is now a pedestrian walkway with the Strand Shopping Centre car park visible through it.

A Class 507 EMU arriving at Formby Station from Liverpool.

A Class 507 EMU arriving at Formby Station from Liverpool.

Steps down to the platforms at Formby Station.

Steps down to the platforms at Formby Station.

Hillside Station clearly showing its LMS history.

Hillside Station clearly showing its LMS history.

A Liverpool bound 507 EMU approaching the Crescent Road level crossing in Birkdale, Southport.

A Liverpool bound 507 EMU approaching the Crescent Road level crossing in Birkdale, Southport.

Southport Station at night with a 507/508 EMU awaiting to depart for Liverpool.

Southport Station at night with a 507/508 EMU awaiting to depart for Liverpool.

Photos 1, 2, 4, 6 & 7 are also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

My 1st posting on the Liverpool – Ormskirk Northern Line is available via this link:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2016/02/07/merseyrails-northern-lines-posting-1-the-ormskirk-line/

Merseyrail’s Northern Lines – Posting 1 – The Ormskirk Line

A selection of scenes from Merseyrail’s Liverpool – Ormskirk line:-

Please click on the photos to enlarge them

Merseyrail's Kirkdale Motive Power Depot with Kirkdale Station in the background.

Merseyrail’s Kirkdale Motive Power Depot with Kirkdale Station in the background.

Aintree Station at night

Aintree Station at night

Maghull Station

Maghull Station

The award winning work of the Maghull Station Volunteers literally on display at Maghull Station.

The award winning work of the Maghull Station Volunteers literally on display at Maghull Station.

Pedestrian and road bridges where Poverty Lane crosses the line north of Maghull Station.

Pedestrian and road bridges where Poverty Lane crosses the line north of Maghull Station.

The entrance/exit of Ormskirk Station at night.

The entrance/exit of Ormskirk Station at night.

Ormskirk Station at night.

Ormskirk Station at night.

Photos 1, 3, 5 & 7 are also amongst my Flickr photos at:-

www.flickr.com/photos/86659476@N07/

Merseyrail – Those long promised new trains could be running after 2020

Could the new rolling stock look like this?

Could the new rolling stock look like this?

The Railway Gazette reports today:

Transport authority Merseytravel announced the five shortlisted bidders for a contract to supply around 50 new electric multiple-units for the Merseyrail suburban network centred on Liverpool on January 11:

Bombardier;
CAF;
Mitsui in a consortium with Alstom and East Japan Railway’s rolling stock manufacturing business J-Trec;
Siemens;
Stadler.

Tender documents are scheduled to be released on January 22, with bids to be submitted by the end of April. A preferred bidder is expected to be chosen towards the end of 2016, and the new EMUs would be delivered by the early 2020s.

The overall cost is estimated at around £400m, including upgrading power supplies and infrastructure improvements at stations and depots. Merseytravel said the trains would be financed using ‘a variety of funding mechanisms’, including a reserve which has already been already established. There would be no additional costs to local taxpayers, with the investment to be recovered over the operational life of the EMUs by leasing them to the operating concessionaire.

‘All of our five candidates have extensive experience of providing trains, maintenance services and depots’, said Merseytravel Chair Councillor Liam Robinson, adding that ‘as part of the process we’ll be interested in how the bidders may be able to tap into the local labour market and make the most of UK-based opportunities.’

The current Merseyrail fleet of 59 Class 507 and 508 three-car 750 V DC third-rail EMUs date from 1978-80 and are nearing the end of the lives, while ridership is growing by 2·5% a year and predicted to increase by 40% by 2028. Merseytravel considered options for using refurbished trains, ordering new ones or planning for a future order. It concluded that new trains would be the best option, providing faster journey times and the ability to carry ‘significantly’ more passengers. They could also be ordered with 25 kV 50 Hz capability to allow potential operation to new destinations such as Warrington and Crewe within the next 30 years.

With thanks to Bob for the lead to this story.