The Anonymous Widower

Liverpool’s Vision For Rail

This document on the Liverpool City Region web site is entitled Metro Mayor’s Vision Of A Merseyrail for All Takes Vital Step Forward With Successful Trial Of New Battery-Powered Trains.

It makes these points in the first part of the document.

  • Game-changing technology paves way for Merseyrail network expansion across the Liverpool City Region and beyond
  • Merseyrail services could reach as far as Wrexham and Preston
  • City Region is at the forefront of the introduction of pioneering energy efficient technology.

The new battery-powered trains would certainly go a long way to  enable, these objectives.

Battery-powered trains would need a range of 26.9 miles to go between Bidston and Wrexham stations.

Battery-powered trains would need a range of 15.3 miles to go between Ormskirk and Preston stations.

This link is to the North Cheshire Rail User Group’s Newsletter for Spring 2021.

This is said about battery range of the new Class 777 trains.

Later model Class 777’s have the ability to leave the 3rd rail and operate under battery power for 20 miles or more with a full load thus
permitting expansion of the Merseyrail network beyond its current limits.

I suspect they will also have regenerative braking to batteries, which will increase the range and allow Bidston and Wrexham stations to be achieved without charge.

It certainly sounds like Preston and Wrexham and all the intermediate stations,  will be added to the Merseyrail network.

As to the third point above about the introduction of pioneering energy efficient technology, I suspect this is mainly regenerative braking to batteries and replacement of elderly worn-out power supply equipment.

There is more in the Liverpool City Region document.

Expanding Merseyrail

This is said.

The game-changing technology could allow the Merseyrail network to extend across all six city region boroughs to places like Rainhill in St Helens, Woodchurch on the Wirral and Widnes in Halton.

It could also allow the new fleet to operate as far afield as Skelmersdale, Wrexham, Warrington and Runcorn.

Note.

  1. A 25 KVAC capability could well be needed.
  2. Chargers could be needed at some of these stations. I suspect Stadler have a Swiss manufacturer in mind.

In the run-up to May’s elections, the Mayor pledged to deliver ‘Merseyrail for All, a commitment to connecting under-served communities to the Merseyrail network.

New Stations

Initially the battery-powered trains, which are considerably greener, using up to 30% less energy than the existing fleet, are set to run on services to a planned new station at Headbolt Lane, Kirkby.

The wider Merseyrail for All programme could ensure every community is well served by an integrated public transport network and new and refurbished train stations are also high on the agenda.

They could include:

  • The Baltic Triangle in Liverpool
  • Carr Mill in St Helens
  • Woodchurch on the Wirral

Note.

Tram-Trains And Trackless Trams

The document says this.

Tram-Train technology and trackless trams will also be looked at as potential means of extending the Merseyrail network into hard-to-reach places. The technology could benefit areas such as Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Speke, Kirkby Town Centre, Southport Town Centre, Wirral Waters and the Knowledge Quarter.

Tram-trains built by Stadler in Valencia are already running in Sheffield and in the next few years they should be deployed on the South Wales Metro.

They were built by Stadler, who are building Merseyrail’s new Class 777 trains, so I suspect they’ll go together like peaches and cream.

The Belgian firm; Van Hool have a product called Exquicity. This video shows them working in Pau in France.

These tram buses run on rubber types and are powered by hydrogen.

Similar buses running in Belfast are diesel-electric.

Could these be what the document refers to as trackless trams?

Battery Train Trials

The article finishes with this summary of the battery train trials. This is said.

Under the battery trials, financed by the Transforming Cities Fund, one of the new class 777 trains fitted with the battery technology was tested on the Northern line.

The batteries exceeded expectations with the trains travelling up to 20 miles per run without the need for re-charging.

The battery trains would remove the need for the third ‘electric’ rail, enabling the trains to travel beyond the existing network without major track investment.

The units passed all tests during four weeks of trials on the City Region’s rail network in May and June.

The Combined Authority and partners are still assessing the full impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the programme and will provide more information regarding the roll out as soon as it has been agreed.

It looks to me, if all these plans get implemented successfully, Liverpool City Region will have one of the best public transport systems of any similar-sized cities in the world.

The Full Plan As A Map

This article on the BBC is entitled Battery-Powered Trains Part Of Merseyrail Expansion Plan.

The article contains this map.

There is no key or explanation, but it appears that the pink lines are new routes, where Merseyrail will run trains.

Before I discuss each of the possible routes, I will discuss two big factors, that will affect a lot of my thinking.

The West Coast Main Line

Avanti West Coast have the following stops in trains per hour (tph)  at these stations on the West Coast Main Line as its trains pass the East of Merseyside.

  • Crewe – At least 5 tph
  • Warrington Bank Quay – At least 2 tph
  • Preston – At least 1 tph

These frequencies are in addition to these direct trains.

  • 1 tph to Liverpool Lime Street, which will rise to 2 tph in the December 2022, with a call at Liverpool South Parkway station.
  • Occasional services to Chester throughout the day.

Passengers do not have to go via Liverpool Lime Street to travel to London.

In addition. there are useful services run by TransPennine Express to Scotland, that call at Preston.

In Future; High Speed Two

This will call at Crewe, Liverpool Lime Street, Liverpool South Parkway, Preston and Warrington.

Northern Trains

Northern Trains were in all sorts of troubles and the service is now run directly by the Government’s Operator of Last Resort. I suspect that any reasonable offer to takeover over a service will be looked at favourably.

I will now look at Merseyrail’s new routes.

Ormskirk And Southport Via The Burscough Curve

Consider.

  • This has been a long term aspiration of Merseyrail.
  • A curve between Burscough Bridge and Burscough Junction will have to be rebuilt on a former alignment.
  • Southport and Ormskirk are about 13 miles apart.
  • Southport and Ormskirk have third-rail electrified lines to Liverpool and the South.

It would be an ideal route for battery-electric trains with a range of 20 miles.

What would it do for passengers?

  • It gives those living near five stations a direct link to Liverpool.
  • It gives Southport a town of over 91,000 people more capacity to the city of Liverpool for jobs, leisure and shopping.
  • Will it open up more opportunities for new housing in villages like Burscough?

It will certainly give Merseyrail operational advantages to Southport.

Ormskirk And Preston

Consider.

  • This has been a long term aspiration of Merseyrail.
  • This would be a takeover by Merseyrail of the existing Northern Trains service.
  • Preston and Ormskirk are about 15.3 miles and 32 minutes apart.
  • Omskirk has 750 VDC third-rail electrification and Preston has 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • The Class 777 trains have been built so they can be updated to dual voltage.

It certainly looks to be a route that could be handled by a battery-electric Class 777 train.

What would it do for passengers?

  • It gives those living near the Ormskirk and Preston Line a direct link to Liverpool.
  • It creates a direct link in modern electric trains between North Liverpool and Preston, for onward travel on West Coast Main Line services and High Speed 2 in the future.
  • The journey time could be reduced to under thirty minutes.

As football is so important to the Liverpool economy, would a time around forty-five minutes between Preston and Sandhills station tempt football supporters going to Anfield and Goodison Park to use the train and then perhaps a trackless tram to the stadium?

This Google map shows the location of Anfield, Goodison Park and Sandhills station.

Note.

  1. Anfield is in the bottom-right corner of the map and is marked by a red arrow.
  2. Goodison is in the top-right corner of the map, slightly to the West of Anfield.
  3. Sandhills station is in the bottom-left corner of the map.

Both stadia are around a mile and a half from the station.

Ormskirk And Preston

Once the Ormskirk and Southport and Ormskirk and Preston services are up and running, it would surely be possible to run a Southport and Preston service.

  • There would be a reverse at Ormskirk.
  • The two sections of Ormskirk and Southport and Ormskirk and Preston would both need battery power.
  • Whilst the driver changed ends at Ormskirk, the train would be recharged using a fast and efficient charger.
  • Times between Southport and Preston would be under an hour.

It certainly looks to be a route that could be handled by a battery-electric Class 777 train.

What would it do for passengers?

  • It gives those living in Southport, a direct link to Preston.
  • It creates a direct link in modern electric trains between Southport and Preston, for onward travel on West Coast Main Line services and High Speed 2 in the future.

This service could be very valuable for passengers, but I suspect the route could be implemented with minimal infrastructure changes at Ormskirk station.

Ormskirk Station

This picture shows Ormskirk’s single platform from the Merseyrail end.

Note.

  1. The Liverpool train in the foreground.
  2. The Preston train in the background.
  3. The solid barrier between the trains.

 

I wonder if the following would be possible with the barrier removed.

  • The long platform would be treated as one platform divided into two.
  • Perhaps they will be the Liverpool and Preston/Southport platform,
  • Trains that will leave the station for Liverpool will stop in the Liverpool platform.
  • Trains that will leave the station for Preston or Southport will stop in the Preston/Southport platform.
  • Through trains between Liverpool and Preston or Southport would be possible.
  • A train between Preston and Southport could reverse in the Preston/Southport platform, whilst trains for Liverpool used the Liverpool platform.

It looks like it’s an efficient layout borrowed from somewhere else. and Stadler have probably seen it before.

Headbolt Lane Station

In Headbolt Lane Station Fly-Through, I described the new Headbolt Lane station.

This screen capture is from the video in that post,

Note.

  1. Two platforms going away from the camera and one platform and what looks to be a siding going towards the camera.
  2. There appears to be no direct connection between the two different sets of tracks.

Until proven wrong, I believe that the camera is looking towards Liverpool, as it would mean that Liverpool services had two platforms. But they currently make do with one at Kirkby.

There is a walk through between the tracks, which

  • Enables passengers to access the second platform.
  • Allows passengers to enter the station from the other side.
  • Allows non-passengers to cross the tracks on the level.
  • Avoids the need to build a bridge.

It is certainly an innovative design.

If occasional trains need to go through, could there be a lift-out section of the walk-through?

But as there are buffer stops on the tracks in the three platforms, that are either side of the walk-through, I suspect it will never happen, as it’s too much hassle.

In the Wikipedia entry for Headbolt Lane station this is said.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority announced in July 2021 that a trial of a battery electric multiple unit (BEMU) version of the new Class 777 will serve the new station, when it opens. This will not require all of the line extension to Headbolt Lane to be electrified.

Merseyrail would appear to have neatly side-stepped, the Office of Road and Rail’s policy of no more third-rail electrification.

But I’m sure Merseyrail could put an approved train-charging system in the station.

  • They would need one if a Class 777 train arrived with a flat battery.
  • They would need one to charge trains on the Headbolt Lane and Skelmersdale service, if the service were to be run by battery-electric trains.
  • They would need one to charge trains on the Headbolt Lane and Wigan Wallgate service, if the service were to be run by battery-electric trains.

The system could be based on a short length of overhead wire and a slim pantograph or a system like Railbaar from Furrer and Frey.

But does it give any clues as to the orientation of the station in the video?

  • As there are three platforms and a siding, that meet at Headbolt Lane station, all could be fitted with chargers. to make sure the services are reliable.
  • Liverpool services could be handled at either end, as it only needs one platform.
  • Skelmersdale and Wigan services could probably share a platform, but they would be better surely using two platforms.
  • The siding could be created into a platform for extra services to be added to the Merseyrail network

So there is no pressing reason, why the station cannot be North or South of the railway.

I suspect road layout and land use issues will eventually decide, the orientation of the station.

Headbolt Lane And Skelmersdale

Consider.

  • This has been a long term aspiration of Merseyrail and Lancashire County Council.
  • Headbolt Lane and Skelmersdale are just a few miles apart.
  • Direct running between Liverpool and Skelmersdale will not be possible, but it will be step-free change between trains.

The Wikipedia entry for Headbolt Lane station seems to indicate a proposed extension of the Northern Line with the next stop being the existing Rainford station. This would surely not add greatly to costs and bring Merseyrail to more fare-paying customers.

It certainly looks to be a route that could be handled by a battery-electric Class 777 train.

What would it do for passengers?

  • Skelmersdale is a town of nearly 39,000 and is said to be one of the largest towns in England without a rail connection.
  • At Headbolt Lane passengers will be able to change for Liverpool or Manchester.

A lot of passengers will have received a modern train service.

Headbolt Lane And Wigan

Consider.

  • This service is currently run by Northern trains.
  • Kirkby and Wigan Wallgate stations are just over twelve miles apart.
  • Someone, who should know told me that by the time High Speed Two starts running through Wigan at a frequency of two tph, the two Wigan stations will have been combined.
  • Headbolt Lane station could be the drop-off point for those needing to go to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London on both the current West Coast Main Line and the future High Speed Two.

What better way to start that journey than on one of Merseyrail’s battery-electric Class 777 trains.

What would it do for passengers?

With modern battery-electric trains linking Headbolt Lane station to the combined Wigan station complex, this route could be the zero-carbon route between large parts of Liverpool and cantres of tourism and employment along and to the East of the M6 and the West Coast Main Line.

Liverpool South Parkway And Warrington Central

Consider.

  • This would be takeover of part of the current Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Oxford Road service.
  • The map shows the service going at least as far as Warrington Central station.
  • Stations between Hunts Cross and Warrington Central include Halewood, Hough Green, Widnes, Sankey and the new Warrington West stations.

Distances are as follows.

  • Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street – 5.5 miles
  • Liverpool South Parkway and Warrington Central – 12.7 miles
  • Liverpool South Parkway and Trafford Park – 25.4 miles
  • Liverpool South Parkway and Manchester Oxford Road – 28.7 miles

The following sections of the route have 25 KVAC overhead electrification.

  • Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street
  • East of Trafford Park.

With a bit more electrification at either end, the whole route should be in range of a battery-electric Class 777 train.

Or the Class 777 trains could be fitted with bigger batteries!

It certainly looks to be a route that could be handled by a battery-electric Class 777 train.

What would it do for passengers?

  • This is a route that has needed decent trains for years and has finally got new Class 195 trains.
  • But, in addition, the battery-electric Class 555 trains would decarbonise the route.

The major problem, though is not infrastructure or trains, but surely Andy Burnham, who is the outspoken Mayor of Greater Manchester could object to Merseyrail invading his patch.

Merseyrail’s Cheshire Ambitions

This is a section of the map shown on the BBC article, showing Cheshire.

It looks like there could be as many as three routes.

  • Chester and Crewe
  • Chester and Runcorn East
  • Ellesmere Port and Runcorn East

I’ll now cover the routes in detail.

Chester And Crewe

Consider.

  • This would be a takeover by Merseyrail of the existing Trains for Wales service.
  • Chester And Crewe are about 21,2 miles and 25 minutes apart.
  • Chester has 750 VDC third-rail electrification and Crewe has 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • The Class 777 trains have been built so they can be updated to dual voltage.
  • There are proposals, that Beeston Castle and Tarporley station be re-opened.

It certainly looks to be a route that could be handled by a battery-electric Class 777 train.

What would it do for passengers?

  • If trains will run between Crewe and Liverpool, this creates a second route between the two major stations.
  • It creates a direct link in modern electric trains between The Wirral and Crewe, for onward travel on West Coast Main Line services and High Speed 2 in the future.
  • The journey time could be reduced by enough to increase service frequency on the route.

I This would be a very useful extension of the Merseyrail network.

Chester And Runcorn East

Consider.

  • This would be a takeover by Merseyrail of the existing Trains for Wales service.
  • Chester And Runcorn East are about 13.1 miles apart.
  • Two stations and five miles further on is Warrington Bank Quay station.
  • Chester has 750 VDC third-rail electrification and Warrington Bank Quay has 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • The Class 777 trains have been built so they can be updated to dual voltage.

It certainly looks to be a route that could be handled by a battery-electric Class 777 train.

What would it do for passengers?

  • It would enable a Merseyrail circular route from Liverpool Lime Street to Chester via Edge Hill, Wavertree Technology Park, Broad Green, Roby, Huyton, Whiston, Rainhill, Lea Green, St Helens Junction, Warrington Bank Quay, Frodsham, Runcorn East and Helsby.
  • After Chester, it could take the Wirral Line back to Liverpool to make it a true Mersey Circular service.

Would a Mersey Circular service be a good idea?

Ellesmere Port And Runcorn East

Consider.

  • This been a long term aspiration of Merseyrail.
  • This would be a takeover by Merseyrail of the infrequent Northern Rail service.
  • Ellesmere Port And Runcorn East are about 10.8 miles apart.
  • Two stations and five miles further on is Warrington Bank Quay station.
  • Ellesmere Port has 750 VDC third-rail electrification and Warrington Bank Quay has 25 KVAC overhead electrification.
  • The Class 777 trains have been built so they can be updated to dual voltage.

It certainly looks to be a route that could be handled by a battery-electric Class 777 train.

What would it do for passengers?

  • It would certainly improve rail transport along the South Bank of the Mersey from Ellesmere Port to Warrington Bank Quay or Runcorn East depending on the Eastern terminus.
  • If the terminal were to be Warrington Bank Quay that would sort out the charging.
  • It could create a direct link in modern electric trains between Ellesmere Port and Warrington Bank Quay, for onward travel on West Coast Main Line services and High Speed 2 in the future.

I feel that an Ellesmere Port and Warrington Bank Quay service would be good for the area.

The Borderlands Line

I’ve left the Borderlands Line to last, as I feel it will be a lot more than commuter and leisure line between Liverpool and Wrexham.

  • It crosses the border between England and Wales
  • The line is 26.9 miles of double track, with a single-track extension of under two miles between the two Wrexham stations.
  • It has over twenty stations with more planned in both countries
  • It crosses a couple of rivers on long steel bridges.
  • It brings commuters to Liverpool and takes workers to the high-tech factories of companies like Airbus and Toyota on Deeside.
  • It connects to a lot of golf courses, one of which is the Open Championship course  at Royal Liverpool.
  • Once in Wales it has two connections to the North Wales Coast Line, which runs between Chester and holyhead.

It is no ordinary railway and is ripe for improvement to bridge passengers to employment sites and leisure areas along its route.

The line has one big problem in that passengers need to change trains at Bidston between Liverpool and Wrexham stations.

  • Between Bidston and Liverpool the Merseyrail electric trains to and from  Hoylake are used and they turn in the Liverpool Loop under Liverpool City Centre calling at four stations before returning.
  • Between Bidston and Wrexham, diesel multiple units are useds.

It is a route design straight out of the 1970s of men with minds without imagination. Even British Rail were designing battery-electric trains in the 1950s, which I wrote about in Did The Queen Ever Ride In This Train?.

Merseyrail intend to right the wrongs of the past using battery-electric Class 777 trains.

  • As electric versions of these trains will be used on the Liverpool and Hoylake service, there would be no need to change trains at Bidston if the Liverpool and Wrexham trains were just a battery-electric version of the same train.
  • The Wrexham trains would drive round the Liverpool Loop tunnel as hundreds of trains do every day.
  • The trains would be charged on the existing third-rail electrification at the Liverpool end.
  • I’m fairly certain that a frequency of two tph would be possible on the route, if the Liverpool Loop tunnel signalling could cope,
  • Trains would need to be charged at the Wexham end of the route and I’m sure Stadler have a solution.

It would be an efficient and cost effective way to decarbonise a tricky but useful branch line.

Conclusion

Stadler are playing their full orchestra of ideas on Merseyrail.

When completed, it will be one of the best metros of any urban areas up to a million people in the world.

This metro could do for Liverpool, what the Beatles did for the city in the 1960s.

July 15, 2021 - Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 Comments »

  1. Stadler’s data sheet on the 777s is at https://www.stadlerrail.com/media/pdf/mmer1216e.pdf. This states that all the units have batteries for depot movements – I think regenerative braking is more or less standard for modern electric transport. Also states “Prepared for later retrofit of ERTMS and 25 kV power supply equipment”, so units running beyond Merseyrail’s borders and recharging using OLE should be easy to implement.

    AFAICS, nothing whatever came out of the previous battery test on the Harwich line. This looks to be a very different proposition. Implementation is way behind schedule due to Covid – a large batch of the trains have been sat in the sidings at Warrington for months – so I’d hope they can start rolling these out soon.

    A couple of Vivarail’s new TfW units have been parked at Chester for several months now, and I think have been running tests during the daytime. I would hope these will be introduced soon.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 16, 2021 | Reply

  2. Back in 2019 battery-powered “trackless” trams were proposed under plans to cut congestion in Cambridge. This concept is based on a Chinese autonomous transportation concept also being considered in Australia and the USA
    https://www.afr.com/companies/transport/the-future-of-light-rail-is-trackless-trams-20191216-p53kb6

    Comment by fammorris | July 16, 2021 | Reply

    • Thank goodness Cambridge didn’t buy it as it would have listened to all the conversations on the train to get details of what was being developed in the city.

      Comment by AnonW | July 16, 2021 | Reply

  3. Carr Mill having a new station surprised me so much, having lived near it until adulthood and drive through Carr Mill many many times since, that I googled it. It closed in 1917 – I have no idea at all where in Carr Mill it was situated, unless it was the waste ground, with a few huts and the odd lorry opposite Carr Mill Dam. A rail link with station near Carr Mill Dam would bring visitors to the dam.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | July 16, 2021 | Reply

    • Where money is involved Liverpudlians seem to have a good sense for putting several eggs together and making a larger omelette, that feeds more for less. Some of their new stations are well-designed, reliable and affordable.

      Comment by AnonW | July 16, 2021 | Reply

  4. Will they ever get rid of the break at Kirkby? It always amazes me that two single track lines meet head on in the station with a concrete block separating them.

    Comment by Maurice Reed | July 16, 2021 | Reply

  5. In

    https://anonw.com/2021/05/24/headbolt-lane-station-fly-through/, I proposed that lines would meet two-by-two.
    It’s much neater.

    Comment by AnonW | July 16, 2021 | Reply

  6. All battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles trains, cars, buses and trucks ect use regenerative braking, fuel cell vehicles wheels are powered by electric motors so regen only needs a small battery pack so if a Class 777 train has 20 mile range than that is with regen not without so for 26.9 miles range extra batteries will have to be installed, in fact because of battery degradation the train will need a range greater than 27 miles or the batteries will have to be replaced every couple of years this is why american ev school buses have larger battery packs than needed when brand new. According to Rail Industry Association Why Rail Electrification ? report 2021 regen can save electric trains 20% electricity. I don’t know about conversions of petrol and diesel vehicles that burn hydrogen in the internal combustion engines, ULEMCo which converts diesel bin lorries to dual fuel diesel and hydrogen trucks and is developing a new ambulance, website doesn’t mention batteries and regen.

    Comment by jason leahy | July 16, 2021 | Reply

  7. Ormskirk to Preston one train per hr. Ormskirk to Liverpool is four. It is single track from Ormskirk to Preston. This could interfere with timetabling unless it is made 2-track.

    Comment by John | July 19, 2021 | Reply

  8. Halton is in the Liverpool City Region. Rotheram the metro-mayor is their boss. His slogan is “Merseyrail for all”. Merseyrail does not serve Halton. Having trains from Liverpool’s Loop to Runcorn East via Helsby means Halton is served. Also Liverpool to Runcorn East via Chester.

    I cannot see Merseyrail running Chester to Crewe. That is way outside their area, That is regional.

    Merseyrail is best running from the Liverpool Loop to Shotton, not Wrexham. Let the Welsh do the Welsh side of the Borderlands Line.

    Comment by John | July 19, 2021 | Reply

  9. I cannot see Liverpool to Preston via Ormskirk. That is regional.
    I can see Liverpool to Southport via Ormskirk.

    Comment by John | July 19, 2021 | Reply

  10. But Rotheram is a regional mayor ab=nd he has the regional battery-electric trains. It’s also written in a poster in Moorfields station, that they will go to Wrexham.

    Comment by AnonW | July 19, 2021 | Reply

    • Merseyrail should know its limits. On Taking Merseyrail trains from Liverpool to Wrexham is impractical. Spiltting the line is by far the best way, with Merseyrail doing the English side. The Welsh already have the Vivarail trains delivered. These cannot go into the Liverpool tunnels, unless they make them all battery. It is confusing as Merseyrail keep saying they may work the whole line. If so, what happens to the Vivarail trains?

      Rotheram wants Halton more extenively on Merseyrail. So extending into Runcorn and Widnes makes sense. If a town is just outside the city region then go to it. Wigan comes to mind as does Warrington. But Preston and Wrexham are way off.

      Comment by John | July 19, 2021 | Reply

      • a revised version of the Rail Strategy was published last year https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Liverpool-City-Region-Strategic-Rail-Study-2020.pdf

        See p22:

        Other options that could be further developed by funders or stakeholders (to meet connectivity based conditional outputs) following this Study could be:
        • Extending the Merseyrail network to Shotton (and possibly on to Wrexham);
        • Extending the Merseyrail network to Skelmersdale (and possibly on to Wigan Wallgate); and
        • Extending the Merseyrail network to Burscough Junction (and possibly on to Preston).

        In other words, the priority is short extensions, but going beyond that is not excluded if it’s in everyone’s interests.

        Shotton, Skem and Burscough are all outside the LCR, as for that matter is Ormskirk (and Chester/EP). Ctr-Cre shuttle is currently run by TfW, a branch of the Welsh government, even though it isn’t in Wales – this makes no sense at all. Not sure it makes to sense to run 777s on that though, if the max speed is only 120kph.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 19, 2021

  11. Anon, the 777s are 3rd rail, wires or battery. It can be any two of the three not all three. So if a line is 3rd rail at the beginning, wires at the other end with nothing between, a train cannot use the power of the two electrical types and batteries between. It is either 3rd rail & batteries or wires & batteries.

    Comment by John | July 19, 2021 | Reply

    • The trains will be third rail and batteries and a charging station would probably use overhead of some sort and a clever pantograph. See Railbaar from Furrer and Frey.

      Comment by AnonW | July 19, 2021 | Reply

    • I don’t understand your reasoning. Why cannot all three power sources not be employed?

      Comment by Fenline Scouser | July 19, 2021 | Reply

      • I believe that is the way the trains are made, only two can be used of the three.

        Comment by John | July 19, 2021

      • Which seems to be contradicted by comments made here (11min 20 sec)

        Comment by Fenline Scouser | July 19, 2021

      • The vid never said that all three can all be used on one train.

        Comment by John | July 19, 2021

    • Nor did it say they couldn’t. The only possible constraint I can see is possibly weight related, although it’s not as though these units would need battery provision for lengthy runs. I am genuinely curious both to where your information comes from and as to why Merseyrail would be promoting these route aspirations knowing they do not have the equipment to meet the outcomes.

      Comment by Fenline Scouser | July 19, 2021 | Reply

      • https://www.keymodernrailways.com/article/777-testing-ramps says “The ‘777’ was designed as a dual-voltage train, and there is a pantograph well in the roof and space to fit transformers under one driving vehicle, meaning fitment of 25kV AC overhead equipment would be simple.” And “Battery packs and a traction converter have been fitted below the driving vehicles of No 777002”.

        Comment by Peter Robins | July 19, 2021

      • I read all three cannot be used. Looks like that may mean all in ‘one’ car, as the space is taken up by a either a large battery bank or transformers. The OHLE maybe can be in one car and the batteries in another in a train.

        All trains have small batteries to move them around the TMD.

        Comment by John | July 19, 2021

  12. AnonW, the Liverpool City Region is appox 2 million. Hesseltine and Leary (the ex Tesco head) in a document state two million. Whitehall have always tried to downplay the region so they can withhold funds.

    Comment by John | July 19, 2021 | Reply

  13. AnonW, Without laying any new lines Merseyrail battery 777 trains can substantially extend Merseyrail:

    – Liverpool Central to Preston via Ormskirk;
    – Liverpool Central to Warrington via Hunts X;
    – Liverpool Central to Wigan Walgate via Kirkby;
    – Liverpool Loop to Shotton/Wrexham;
    – Liverpool Loop to Runcorn East via Helsby;
    – Liverpool Loop to Runcorn East via Chester;

    That is a fantastic improvement just by using battery trains.

    By laying the short Burscough Curve and a mile or so of track to Skem with one new station at Skem, Merseyrail can have:
    – Liverpool Central/Hunts X to Southport via Ormskirk;
    – Liverpool Central to Skem (or Skem/Wigan Walgate) via Kirkby;

    Using battery trains, laying about a mile of track and building a new station, the network is ‘greatly’ enhanced. Battery trains bring a lot to the party.

    Comment by John | July 19, 2021 | Reply

    • Germans and others talk about the Karlruhe model of tram-trains that has done so much for that city and pthers.
      Will Stadler in the future about the Liverpool model and what it has done for Liverpool and others?

      It’s all very conventional with a lot of Scouse nouse putting routes, where they need to go.

      Comment by AnonW | July 19, 2021 | Reply

      • The city needs a station at the airport for direct access from North Wales, Gtr Manchester, Chester and all teh City Region. HMG are reluctant as they want to promote Manchester as the capital of the North, to the resistance of Liverpool, Leeds and Sheff. Look at the money poured into Manchester’s tram network while Liverpool got crumbs. It is even omitted fro a direct HS2 link when a HS2 line is one mile from teh city region’s border. Getting money from them to run tracks over fields, with one bridge from east of Halewood Station to the airport will be near impossible. Liverpool is a far better located airport than Manchester as flights can fly over a wide estuary, with expanding into the estuary an easy task. HMG will not compromise Manchester airport. I can go on how HMG held Liverpool airport back in the 1950s in favour of Manchester, but that is a topic by itself.

        Foreign passengers get off at South Parkway expecting to walk into an airport, then dismayed that they have to take a shaking bus to the airport – very third world. So how does the city get a station at the airport? Battery-elecric tram-trains are a short term answer. They can run down the centres of the boulevards from South Parkway or east of Cressington station to the airport.

        Comment by John | July 19, 2021


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