Phase 2 of platform upgrades starts 12 November

Tue, October 30th, 2018

To prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of new trains in 2020

A programme of platform upgrades to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of new, state of the art trains in 2020 has begun. Phase 1 is underway and progressing well as Network Rail makes vital upgrades to platforms and realigns track on the Ormskirk Line.

Phase 2 will take place between 12 November and 16 December with the closure of Bank Hall station. Train services will not be disrupted on this line as they will continue running through the station, although they will not stop there. High quality rail replacement buses will be in operation between Bank Hall and Sandhills stations to keep passengers moving to/from Liverpool, Kirkby, Ormskirk and Southport. Alternatively passengers may prefer to make their own way straight to Bootle Oriel Road or Sandhills stations to start their journey.

These vital works need to happen to ensure that station platforms across the Merseyrail network are compatible with the new trains and their ground breaking, sliding step technology that will provide unassisted access for all.

This will mean that wheelchair users can board the train without a ramp and passengers with prams and cycles can get on and off the train with ease. This technology represents a pioneering approach for the UK.

There are 11 phases of work scheduled between October 2018 and June 2019. More information about each phase, rail replacement services and alternative travel options will be made available nearer the time.

Merseytravel, Merseyrail and Network Rail have worked collaboratively on this project and significant planning work has been carried out to minimise the time needed to complete these important works and reduce disruption to passengers.

Businesses and organisations are advised to think about what they may need to put in place to support staff and customers.

Key advice:

  • You can still get to where you need to go
  • Check before you travel. Closures are taking place at different locations at different times on the network so it's important to keep checking what's happening and when. Some timetables may change.
  • Plan ahead – use journey planners
  • Leave more time for your journey. Timetables may change and your journey may be longer.
  • Consider avoiding travelling at peak times where possible
  • Consider your options –including commercial buses and the Mersey Ferries

Wayne Menzies, Merseytravel's Head of Rail said: "We've got to complete these works. It's really important that passengers know what's happening so they can plan ahead and if we work together we can keep everyone moving and the city region will remain open for business.

"The new trains will transform how we travel and this project is about making this happen so although there will be some disruption it will be worth it in the end."

Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail said: "These works are vital to prepare our network for the arrival of the new state-of-the-art trains in 2020 and in particular the sliding step that will allow unassisted access for all our passengers. A lot of work has gone in to minimising disruption as much as possible while this work takes place and both high quality rail replacement buses and our staff will be available to help keep everyone moving."

Marcus Barnes, Senior Sponsor for Network Rail, said: "We're delivering vital upgrades to 100 platforms and realigning track at 58 stations across the Merseyrail network to make sure they're ready for new trains in 2020.

"This investment is part of a huge package of works across the Liverpool City Region and sits within our Great North Rail Project.

"Adjusting the height, width and layout of the platforms is more complex than it may sound and we'll need to close sections of the line to complete these vital works safely.

"Many of these upgrades may not be obvious to passengers, but are key to enable improved access onto new Merseyrail trains using the new sliding step technology."

For more information and further details about how your rail journeys will be affected visit the Merseyrail website. Information is also on the Merseytravel website.

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