New Merseyrail trains will begin rolling out across Wirral from next week.
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram made the announcement following the rollout of the new trains on the Kirkby and Omskirk lines earlier this year.
The new trains will appear on the West Kirby, New Brighton, and Chester lines in a gradual rollout. For those on the Ellesmere Port line, no date has been confirmed yet.
The trains are a £500m investment into the Merseyrail service as part of the Metro Mayor’s aims to create a London-style transport system across Merseyside with improved accessibility and Wi-Fi. However, the rollout has not been smooth with the new trains repeatedly running into issues.
New trains have previously been seen on the West Kirby line when the town hosted the Open in July, and services on different lines were temporarily changed to allow for testing of the new trains and support driver training.
The news could also herald the return of full services at Bromborough Rake and Green Lane train stations which was promised once the new trains were in service.
Mayor Rotheram said, “Wirral passengers have been patiently waiting for the rollout of our new publicly owned trains, which are ready to welcome them onboard.
“We’ve invested half a billion pounds in our new fleet, which are packed with great new features like sliding step technology, free phone charging and Wi-Fi and more room for bikes and wheelchairs – enabling more people to travel around our region.
“Designed in consultation with local people, our new trains are some of the most accessible and sophisticated in the entire country, with great new features like level access with sliding step technology, more room for bikes and wheelchairs, phone charging and Wi-Fi onboard.
“This investment shows the difference devolution makes. We’re charting our own course, putting the public back into public transport and delivering the services that our 1.6 million residents deserve.”
Cllr Paul Stuart, Leader of Wirral Council, said, “I am thrilled about the arrival of these new trains on the Wirral lines. This represents a significant step forward in improving our transportation infrastructure and enhancing the travel experience for Wirral residents and visitors.
“Their advanced features and innovative design will revolutionise how people travel, ensuring a comfortable and convenient journey for all passengers. Providing step-free access for all passengers will remove barriers and enable everyone to travel freely and independently, regardless of mobility. It reflects our dedication to creating an inclusive and accessible transportation network that caters to the needs of everyone.
“I am confident that they will positively impact our community, fostering greater connectivity and improving the daily lives of our residents. Together, we are creating a transport system that is modern, accessible, and sustainable, and I look forward to seeing the benefits that these new trains will bring across Wirral and the Liverpool City Region.”