First train from North Wales to Liverpool for 40 years arrives at Lime Street

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will be on the platform at 7.59am on Monday morning to see the service from Wrexham arrive. Tony McDonough reports

Halton Curve
First Transport for Wales service from Wrexham to Liverpool arrives at Lime Street


Lime Street Station will today welcome the first direct train service from North Wales to Liverpool in more than 40 years.

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will be on the platform at 7.59am on Monday morning to see the service from Wrexham arrive. The route has been made possible by the £14.5m project to reopen the Halton Curve.

The Halton Curve scheme has seen the re-opening of a 1.5 mile stretch of track near Frodsham which links services from Chester onto the West Coast Mainline into Liverpool. Work to bring the track back into full use began in July 2017 was completed by Network Rail in May 2018.

New services

Operated by Transport for Wales, the first service will call at Chester, Helsby, Frodsham, Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway, en-route.

Services between Chester and Lime St via the Halton Curve will run seven days a week (the first on Sunday, May 19), with services between Wrexham and Liverpool currently running Monday to Saturday, with two trains a day towards Liverpool and one towards Wrexham. .

Future plans will see more journeys into Wales, with some services running to Cardiff via Shrewsbury and to Llandudno. The new service will generate 250,000 new trips, unlocking leisure and business opportunities between the Liverpool city region, Cheshire and North Wales.

As journeys between the Liverpool city region, West Cheshire and North Wales are currently largely car dependent, it’s expected that the new service would remove the need for 170,000 road journeys helping reduce demand on key routes such as the M56 and A55.

Airport boost

It also supports Liverpool John Lennon Airport and its growth ambitions, opening up a much wider catchment for national and international leisure and business travel.

Mr Rotheram said: “One of the Combined Authority’s key priorities is the delivery of major improvements in connectivity for our area and this is an example of us achieving that through new links into North Wales and Cheshire.

Halton Curve
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram speaks after the first Wrexham-Liverpool train arrives at Lime Street


“The Halton Curve is one of many ambitious rail schemes across the Liverpool city region that have been delivered by the Combined Authority, working together in partnership with a number of organisations.”

Halton Curve project has been funded through the Government’s Local Growth Funding which is awarded to the Liverpool City Region LEP and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund, along with direct capital funding from the Combined Authority.

It has been developed by the Liverpool City Region (including Halton Council), Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, the Welsh Government and a consortium of the six county authorities in North Wales. The works have been delivered by Network Rail.

It forms part of the £340m investment in rail in the Liverpool City Region by the end of 2019 and also sits within the Great North Rail Project – a multi-billion pound investment plan to transform train travel across the North.

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