Merseyrail will run a limited train service on Tuesday 3 January, Wednesday 4 January, Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January, due to planned strikes by Network Rail staff who are members of the RMT union.
The Liverpool City Region rail network is affected by the UK-wide national walk out, as Network Rail signalling and maintenance employees will be taking industrial action from 02:00 on Tuesday 3 January to 01:59 on Thursday 5 January, and 02:00 on Friday 6 January to 01:59 on Sunday 8 January.
As has been the case during previous strike days, the number of trains Merseyrail can run is limited by the number of Network Rail signalling and maintenance staff that are available. As a result, the operator will run a 45-minute service calling at all stations on selected lines between 07:30 and 18:30 to help passengers make essential journeys.
As is normally the case during industrial action, there will be no rail replacement buses in operation. Those needing to travel outside the hours of service are advised to make alternative travel arrangements.
However, on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January, rail replacement buses will run on the Kirkby line between Kirkby and Moorfields, due to planned engineering works relating to the opening of Headbolt Lane station in 2023.
A summary of services that will operate between 07:30 and 18:30 on Tuesday 3 January, Wednesday 4 January, Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January is as follows.
- Chester and Ellesmere Port lines: No trains will operate between Chester and Rock Ferry or Ellesmere Port and Rock Ferry. Trains will run every 45 minutes between Rock Ferry and Liverpool Central, calling at all stations.
- New Brighton line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
- West Kirby line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
- Southport line: Trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations.
- Hunts Cross line: No trains will operate between Liverpool Central and Hunts Cross.
- Ormskirk line: On Tuesday 3 January and Wednesday 4 January trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations. On Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January two trains will run per 45 minutes, calling at all stations to support the increased number of passengers expected to travel on the line as a result of the Kirkby line being closed for engineering work.
- Kirkby line: On Tuesday 3 January and Wednesday 4 January trains will run every 45 minutes, calling at all stations. There will be no services on the Kirkby line on Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January, as there will be planned engineering works as part of the construction of the new Headbolt Lane station. A rail replacement bus service will run on the Kirkby line between 07:00 and 18:30, timetables will be available online at merseyrail.org and at stations closer to the date.
On Thursday 5 January, train services will begin at approximately 07:00 A limited rail replacement bus service will be in operation from the busiest stations prior to 07.00. Passengers are advised to visit the Merseyrail website for full details or speak to a member of station staff.
On Sunday 8 January a normal timetable will operate except for the Kirkby and Hunts Cross lines, which are affected by planned engineering work. Full details of the arrangements for these lines is available on the Merseyrail website.
Passengers planning to travel on the Kirkby Line from 9 January onwards will also notice some changes to timetables, as preparations continue for the new fleet of trains. Full details will be available on station posters and the Merseyrail website in due course.
Jane English, Acting Managing Director at Merseyrail, said:
“Merseyrail has worked closely with Network Rail to ensure we are able to run the best service possible on these strike days and allow passengers to make essential journeys. We would like to apologise for the disruption caused once again to our passengers as a result of the action being taken by Network Rail signallers and maintenance staff.
“We would remind those who are travelling on between Tuesday 3 January and 7 January to plan their journeys in advance, that trains are likely to be very busy and bear in mind that Merseyrail services will not be operating any later than 18:30 on the affected days. Please be patient with us, we will get you where you need to be.”
Passengers who normally require assistance to travel are advised to speak to a member of station staff or contact Merseyrail’s customer service team via the operator’s website prior to making their journey.
Customers hoping to use the Merseyrail network to connect to onward journeys should check with the operators that they intend to travel with, as many train companies are not running services on Tuesday 3 January, Wednesday 4 January, Friday 6 January and Saturday 7 January.
Full timetables are available via the operator’s website at www.merseyrail.org/strike