Most Merseyrail services to resume, but Network Rail strike looms

Merseyrail has today announced that a 15-minute service will operate on most parts of the network from Monday 20 June.

The change follows emergency timetables put in place over the last two weeks, as a result of an unexpected and significant increase in wheel bearing faults. This significantly affected the number of trains available to run, with those trains found to have the fault being taken out of service for repair. 

With trains now beginning to re-enter service following repair the following changes will apply from Monday 20 June;

  • Trains on the Ormskirk, Kirkby, Chester, New Brighton, and West Kirby lines will run every 15
    minutes between approximately 07:00 and 19:00, with a 30-minute service operating outside of
    these hours.
  • Between Southport and Hunts Cross trains will run every 15 minutes from the start to the end of
    service.
  • On the Ellesmere Port line, the normal 30-minute service will continue to operate
  • A 30-minute service will continue to run on Sundays across all lines.

Whilst the number of trains available continues to improve daily, initially all services will operate as 3-car trains. As more trains are repaired, they will be re-introduced to provide 6-car services on the busiest routes.

Despite the timetable changes announced from 20 June, the network is likely to be significantly affected by next weeks planned UK wide industrial action by Network Rail staff. Whilst Merseyrail staff are not taking part in this industrial action, it will involve Network Rail staff who operate the signalling systems and provide crucial maintenance which allow services to run safely.

The current planned dates for strikes are Tuesday 21, Thursday 23, and Saturday 25 June.

Merseyrail will share passenger travel advice alongside the rest of the UK rail network later this week.

Andy Heath Managing Director at Merseyrail said, “We are truly sorry for the disruption to our passengers’ journeys over the last two weeks. Our teams together with our train maintainer Stadler have worked around the clock to ensure we were able to restore the 15-minute service that we know this City Region relies on.

“I am pleased with the progress that has been made so far and that we are able to step our timetables back up from Monday with confidence. We continue to work with Stadler and experts from the wider rail industry to ensure we fully understand the root cause of this issue, to prevent this happening again in the future”.

Image: Merseyrail

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