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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-10-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Did You Know? Key features about the new Merseyrail trains summarised

MERSEYTRAVEL has condensed its new trains project into a series of 5 facts to help people understand some of the key features of the new trains that will be running on the Merseyrail network from 2020. It aims to showcase some of the key features of the state of the art trains as well as help answer common questions. The existing fleet is approaching 40 years old; amongst the oldest in the country and it won't be able to cope with future demand, with passenger numbers increasing by 2.5% each year. The new trains, which will be owned by Merseytravel on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, were approved by City Region leaders in December 2016 and a contract was signed with manufacturer Stadler, in February 2017.  The ₤460m project also includes infrastructure upgrades to power supplies, platforms and track, as well as refurbishment of the depots at Kirkdale and Birkenhead North and the on going maintenance of the trains.

Said David Powell, Programme Director for the new trains project:- "We've put out a lot of information about the new trains, such as the benefits and how they will be operated, but we appreciate that it's a lot to take in and that's why we've looked to boil the project down to some of the key facts that should reassure and clarify as well as excite."

More detail on the new trains, including factsheets, FAQs and common 'claims and facts' can be found online.

5 ways your travel will be transformed by the new Merseyrail trains:-

1. Disabled passengers and those with buggies, luggage and bikes will be able to get on and off without assistance. A sliding step level with the platform will mean no more stepping on or off, or having to use ramps deployed by Station staff.

2. Onboard staff will be more visible as they'll be based in the saloon, dedicated to assisting you during your journey, especially at night and during events.

3. The risk of you having an incident between the edge of the platform and the train is greatly reduced, with no need to 'mind the gap' and state of the art tech will stop you or your belongings getting trapped in the doors.

4. The train saloon will be unrecognisable... in a good way! Bright, open carriages, visible CCTV images and much improved passenger info.

5. You'll get where you need to go faster. New trains will take 9 minutes of journey between Hunts Cross and Southport.

5 things you might not know about the new Merseyrail trains:-

1. Sliding steps to help you get on and off the train, together with other improvements will make our network the most accessible traditional rail network in the UK.

2. These trains will be designed specifically for our network. This is unusual, but possible because they're owned locally by Merseytravel, on behalf of the Liverpool City Region, and won't have to be made so that they could be used on other networks in future

3. The new trains incorporate features local people want to see, from air con to the seating layout and visible CCTV images. This approach, which involved independent research, is considered:- 'best practice' nationally.

4. These state-of-the-art trains will be introduced without having to put up ticket prices or Council tax to pay for them.

5. The new trains will be worth ₤70m a year to the regional economy and will create 1,000 new jobs, just by the fact that they can carry more people (60% more) and faster, with up to 10% off journey times.

5 things you may not know about Driver Controlled Operation:-
(Where train drivers rather than guards open and close doors and dispatch the train)

1. Driver Controlled Operation (DCO) has been used for more than 30 years on networks across the country such as the London Underground and Tyne & Wear Metro. It is also common across the world.

2. Up to 70% of all passenger rail journeys in the UK are already on DCO networks.

3. DCO is the way we can most effectively meet safety recommendations for the Merseyrail Network following a fatality at James St in 2011.

4. DCO doesn't mean there is only one person on the train; we're keeping a second member of staff, based in the train saloon, at key locations and times. Other DCO networks don't offer this.

5. Across the country there is no difference in the rate of incidents that happen at the train platform edge in networks that use guards and those that don't.

5 things you may not realise about staffing on the new trains:-

1. Merseyrail will remain 1 of the most well staffed networks in the country.

2. New on board customer service staff will be based in the train saloon, working alongside revenue protection teams, security staff, cleaners, British Transport Police.

3. Passengers are, on average, only 3 minutes away from a Station that's staffed 1st to last train.

4. The guards' roles will no longer be required, but all permanent guards are offered guaranteed continued employment, at Merseyrail, should they wish to stay.

5. Staff permanently employed as guards now will be on the same pay, terms and conditions in their new roles, which means they'll earn at least ₤28,000 a year and continue to get other benefits such as free rail travel.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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