New £500m trains to enter service on Wirral Line

A full roll-out of Liverpool city region’s new £500m train fleet will begin on the Merseyrail Wirral Line in the next few days. Tony McDonough reports

A Class 777 Merseyrail train at Moorfields. Picture by Tony McDonough


Commuters in Wirral will see the new £500m fleet of trains come into service on Merseyrail next week.

One of the units from the 52-strong fleet ran on the Liverpool to Hoylake line during the Open Golf Championship. That was a temporary move but the new trains are set to become a permanent fixture in Wirral in the week beginning Monday, August 21.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority acquired the Class 777 fleet from Swiss manufacturer Stadler. Passengers were able to step on board for the first time in January on the Kirkby line. This was followed weeks later by the Ormskirk line.

From Monday, the trains will gradually enter passenger service on the West Kirby, New Brighton and Chester lines. This follows a period of driver training.

As in previous launches, the number of new trains in service will grow over the next few months. The Ellesmere Port line will also see new trains in service “in due course”.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Wirral passengers have been patiently waiting for the rollout of our new publicly owned trains, which are ready to welcome them on board.

“We’ve invested half a billion pounds in our new fleet, which are packed with great new features. These include sliding step technology, free phone charging and Wi-Fi and more room for bikes and wheelchairs.

“Designed in consultation with local people, our new trains are some of the most accessible and sophisticated in the entire country.”

On the Liverpool side of the Mersey work is continuing towards the opening of the new station on the Kirkby line where the new trains will be powered by battery.

Work on Headbolt Lane in Kirkby began in March 2022. Plans for the station were first proposed in 1972. Once open it will offer better access to the Merseyrail network for people living in the Tower Hill and Northwood areas of Kirkby.

Passengers on the Southport line will be the last to see the new fleet. There remain issues within the platform at Southport station.


Interior of a Class 777 Merseyrail train. Picture by Tony McDonough


Speaking about the Wirral introduction, Cllr Paul Stewart, leader of Wirral Council, added: “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.

The new trains webpage is full of information and will be kept up to date during the roll out of the fleet. Find out more at

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