Merseyrail – One of their new Class 777 EMU’s on the move

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

On YouTube there’s a video of a brand new Stadler Merseyrail Class 777 on the move in Europe being taken to a test track from it’s place of manufacture – see link below:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncIhJ137pLM

Merseytravel – Their over 60’s travel card and the new(ish) Liverpool (LS) to Chester train

Those of us over a certain age and who live within Merseyside/Liverpool City Region have a card which gives us free bus, train and ferry travel within Merseyside and in some cases beyond it.

For example we can go to Chester by train (via Merseyrail) from anywhere within Merseyside for nothing but there are two direct train services from Liverpool to Chester. There’s the long standing one via Merseyrail along the Wirral Line but in very recent times a 2nd route has been added from Lime Street Station to Chester. And you may by now have guessed what my query is…..

How come Merseyside residents over 60 can go via one route to Chester from Liverpool for free but this facility is not available on the new alternative route? And why am I asking this question? Because someone asked it of me and off the top of my head I did not have an answer.

Thinking about it, I can’t see what the problem is; surely it’s just another route to the same destination? Whether Merseytravel (the public body responsible for passenger transport on Merseyside) pay a subsidy for over 60’s travel to Merseyrail or to Transport for Wales (who operate the Lime Street – Chester train) for each journey the end result is pretty much the same is it not? It’s still the case that only eligible Merseyside/Liverpool City Region residents can have an over 60’s travel card, all it does is offer them another route to get to Chester, indeed it may well be a far more convenient route for some card holders.

So what am I missing here? Answers on a post card………..

Merseytravel to deliver 2 new stations for Merseyrail (plus 2 new Mersey Ferries)

The present end of the line for trains from Wigan, the Merseyrail service to Liverpool is accessed under the bridge. The new Headbolt Lane Station will see the Liverpool – Kirkby Line extended to it.

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/merseyside-set-two-new-train-16838844

If delivered this is good news indeed, my only reservation is that Merseytravel has a history of big promises but being less than good at delivery as previous blog postings on this site have detailed.

My old friend Cllr. Andrew Makinson (member of Liverpool City Council) will be delighted to hear that St. James Station is seriously back on the cards as he tried to get the project going quite some years ago when the then transport authority were not listening to him.

On the cycling front there may also be good news because at present the cycling facilities/safe cycling routes across the City Region are generally very poor/non-existent indeed, with a few notable exceptions.

Feet on seats – Merseyrail are big on stopping this

You can’t have travelled on Merseyrail without noticing the signs telling passengers not to put their feet on seats and the other day I saw the rule being enforced on a Liverpool – Ormskirk train when a young lady was approached by on-board security officers.

They spoke to her very reasonably (I happened to be just across the gangway from them) and she was let off with what seemed to be caution.

Most of us see this practice as being anti-social but I recently read why public transport operators are so keen to put a stop to it. A Doctor at the University of Arizona discovered in a 2008 study of over nearly 3,000 shoes that 96 percent had coliforms and E coli on them. This means shoes are in contact with faecal matter much of the time we walk the streets.

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.

Liverpool Airport’s missing rail link

Departure board at Southport Station from back when you could get to Manchester Airport from our local seaside resort by train as well as from Liverpool.

A recent article on the Liverpool Echo website regarding the lack of a rail link to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, by Liam Thorpe, got me thinking again about this odd missing link in our local transport infrastructure. Here’s a link to the Echo article:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/after-anfield-new-rail-link-16614708

My angle on this goes back to the failed Merseytram project of some years back. At the time I was leader of Sefton Council so was involved in all the comings and goings as the project slid towards its demise when the last Labour Government in effect pulled the plug on funding Merseytram.

I raise Merseytram again now because I am utterly convinced that if the first line had been planned to go to the airport the local political wrangling which killed off the project would not have happened. If readers recall the first line was going to be built to Kirkby according to plans put forward Merseytravel yet most folk scratched their heads at this and said the first line needed to go to the airport. Well no tram/light railway lines were constructed on Merseyside at all and a lot of political fingers got burnt in the process of going nowhere.

So I’m not surprised that Liverpool Echo readers are saying to the paper what they were saying to the politicians some years back ‘build some form of rail/tram connection to John Lennon Airport’ and I agree with them now as I did in the Merseytram era.

Below is the only thing I have to remember Merseytram – a promotional bookmark:-

This promotional Merseytram bookmark is about all that Liverpool City Region has to show for its big tram ideas.