What did Faye think?
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
Oh the frustrations of being a rail traveller these days and Merseyrail is not even run by the dreaded Northern Fail:-)
The Merseyrail’s Northern Line up to Ormskirk has been closed for the past few days and will be for a few more. The reason? The platform/track height is being adjusted so that the new Stadler Class 777 trains (due in 2020) can stop at every station on the Merseyrail network and provide level access i.e. no steps down onto the platforms.
This upgrade work is frustrating whilst it’s being done but it should be a real step forward, rather than down, for those with disabilities.
Here’s a few shots of work taking place at Town Green Station today:-
Click on the photos to enlarge them
Well I actually came face to face with a mock-up of one of the new trains at Birkenhead’s Pacific Road Building as the first actual train is not due to be delivered until 2019. Here are my photos:-
The two Merseytravel reps with the mock-up were really informative and helpful on the day I went to have a look, which was in fact the last day the unit was on display in Birkenhead.
It is now being set up at Liverpool’s Lime Street Station for a further period of display to the public – 5-18 November, Mon-Sun 7.00 to 18.30
My only worry is that there may still, like with the present 507/508 rolling stock, be insufficient space for cycles.
On an amusing aside I got into conversation with a fellow railway enthusiast about the new trains and they suggested to me that the seats were a little hard. Well firm, I’ll give you that but, but not uncomfortable in my view. The same conversation went on to compare them with seats on some Cumfybus buses which despite the name of the bus company are a little on the firm side:-)))
The first photo is also on my Flickr page at:-
Phase 1 of the platform upgrade work for the new trains will start on the Ormskirk line on 20 October 2018. The following stations will be closed during the work:
Ormskirk to Walton – from 20 October to 28 October
Ormskirk to Old Roan – from 29 October to 9 November
Merseytravel say that high quality rail replacement buses will run between:
Ormskirk and Sandhills – from 20 October to 28 October
Ormskirk and Aintree – from 29 October to 9 November
As well as regular buses stopping at all affected stations, additional express buses will run between selected stations.
More information on these services, all well as full timetables, can be found on www.merseyrail.org/platform-upgrade-works.aspx
Please note: Ticket offices at all Ormskirk line stations will still be staffed, and Northern (Arriva) trains will run from Ormskirk station as usual.
Editors Note:- All the above information is from Merseytravel
The new Stadler trains (ordered by Merseytravel the Transport Committee of Liverpool City Region) which will be coming to Merseyrail in early 2020 look to be innovative and potentially class leading.
Here’s some photos from a mock-up of a Stadler train carriage so you can see how very different the new trains will look from the present rather elderly (40 years old in fact) British Rail built 507 and 508 trains:-
And you can see the mock up yourself too. Here’s where and how:-
The mock-up will be on display at the following times:
· Pacific Road, Birkenhead, CH41 1LJ: 1-14 October, Mon-Sun 8.00 to 17.30, Tues 8.00-19.30
· Liverpool Lime Street, L1 1JD: 5-18 November, Mon-Sun 7.00 to 18.30
The new trains are going to be fitted with battery packs so that they will be able to travel beyond the present electrified 3rd rail network. This brings all kinds of possibilities in terms of expanding the reach of Merseyrail to places like Burscough, Preston, Skelmersdale etc. without the need for costly electrification. Such opportunities are clearly most welcome and OPSTA* will be looking to pursue them at every turn.
With thanks to Bob for the lead to this posting.
*OPSTA – Ormskirk, Preston and Southport Travellers Association