Alison McGovern

Wirral South

Work set to start next year to upgrade trains in the Liverpool City Region

Last Thursday I was invited by Network Rail to a tour and briefing at Liverpool Central Station.

Having worked in the rail industry prior to becoming an MP and having a proud family history of working on the railways I have a long standing interest in train operations and I was excited to go along and be shown the underground section of the station.

I put on my hard hat and florescent orange protective gear and I was shown around and embarked on the tour which included exclusive access inside a rail tunnel.

The purpose of the visit was to discuss the temporary closure of the Wirral line service. Essential track renewal work will be taking place between January and June 2017 and Network Rail delivered a briefing on the day about what the work will involve.

The work is part of an investment plan to provide passengers in the Liverpool City Region with faster, more frequent and reliable train services by 2019.

The benefits for passengers will include a bigger and better railway network with longer and faster trains, more reliable railway infrastructure and better facilities for passengers, especially at stations and increased capacity/additional services.

Whilst the work will mean temporary limitations to the Wirral line next year for a period of six months it's got to be done. There is no escaping the fact that we have the oldest of railways & it needs a lot of TLC.

I am already looking forward to seeing the finished result and if constituents need further specific information about the work then I am happy to ask Network Rail and get back to you.

 

Reactions

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commented 2016-12-17 13:42:17 +0000
This work will be incredibly disruptive for residents living in Wirral and working in Liverpool or Manchester. The two way commute to Manchester from areas of west Wirral will increase up to 5 hours per day door to door. The publicity suggests that commuters will be delayed by at least 20 minutes each but and I am not convinced that sufficient surveys have been carried out to assess the full impact of this. Much has been made of the replacement buses but my view is that these will have difficulty getting through the tunnels when other commuters start using their cars. I am particularly concerned about the timing of the work which is planned to take place around 6 months before the northern hub improvements around Manchester are due to be completed. If the work was delayed until late 2017 the Ordsall Chord should be complete and timetable changes would have been implemented. I understand that these changes are expected to save time and increase frequency of trains between Liverpool and Manchester . These changes would offset delays associated with the works. I would add that work on existing infrastructure may take longer than planned when condition of hidden critical items becomes clear during the work. In my view this is likely to result in disruption over a much longer time than expected. This is why timing of the operation is so critical.

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