Liverpool City Region has approved a GBP 460 million project which will deliver new trains for the Merseyrail network by the end of 2020.
The green light has been given to a £460m project that will allow the introduction of state-of-the-art trains which will come into service by the end of 2020 replacing the near 40-year-old fleet currently operating on the Merseyrail network. The new trains will be publically owned by Merseytravel.
The trains will be built by Stadler, in Switzerland, subject to a final legal process and the signing of the contracts in 2017. Deliveries will begin in mid-2019 with the fleet entering passenger service from 2020-2021.
The trains, designed specifically for the network, will have no conductors or guards and drivers will control the doors, a feature which has angered the RMT. However, there will be staff on board some trains to help and advise passengers. Each train will have four rather than the present three cars and capacity will be 60 per cent greater. This will be achieved by providing more room for standing passengers, wheelchairs and luggage, because the number of seats will be the same as now.
Mayor of Liverpool and Chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Joe Anderson said: “The people of our City Region need and deserve new trains. Merseyrail is one of the top performing networks in the country and we want to keep it that way. This is a once in a generation opportunity for custom built trains that will be safer and carry more people, more quickly.