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:-
I’m indebted to Keith Page for the lead to this posting, which is a video presentation of what the new Merseyrail train maintenance depot will look like when completed. The link below refers:-
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:-
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
So the RMT guards dispute is finally over and the near end result seems to be about the best that could have been hoped for by the RMT trade union and indeed the travelling public who backed them in their quest to have a 2nd member of staff on every Merseyrail Train when the new Stadler trains are introduced.
BUT, and its a big but, of course the new train fleet ordered by Merseytravel (the Transport Committee of the Liverpool City Region) was the cause of the dispute and I’m surprised that other commentators don’t seem to have grasped that pertinent point i.e. that Merseyrail were as much the victims of the political decision to have only a Driver Only Operation as the RMT trade union.
I do wonder whether behind the scenes the owners of the Merseyrail franchise (Serco and Abellio) had signaled (no railway pun intended here) that they had had a gut full of being the fall-guys for this dispute?
Despite all the controversy and indeed industrial action as a consequence of Merseytravel ordering new rolling stock that does not require train guards the new trains are presently being manufactured by Stadler the Swiss company who won the bidding process.
The Liverpool Echo has an article about a mock up of the trains on its web site – see link below:-
The mock up is due to go on show to the public in Liverpool’s Lime Street in November.