Liverpool City Region’s new publicly owned trains arrived in Wirral this week as part of the first stage of their phased rollout across the borough.
The state-of-the-art trains will gradually enter passenger service on the West Kirkby, New Brighton, and Chester lines.
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.”
As was the case with previous launches, the number of new trains in service will grow over the next few months, and the Ellesmere Port line will also see new trains in service in due course.
The Wirral line is the latest section of the Merseyrail network to benefit from the introduction of new trains following the Kirkby and Ormskirk branches of the Northern Line earlier this year.
Testing and driver training is ongoing for the battery-powered trains that will serve the brand new £80m station at Headbolt Lane, which is being delivered as part of Merseyrail For All. The Mayor has committed to expanding the Merseyrail network by connecting to new and previously under-served communities.