New Merseyrail trains to run on Kirkby line

Train operator Merseyrail announces timetable changes on Northern Line ahead of introduction of new £500m fleet. Tony McDonough reports

Merseyrail trains will carry out test runs on the new trains on the Northern Line


Merseyrail is making temporary changes to services on the Kirkby line to accommodate test runs for its new £500m train fleet.

From Monday, November 14, there will be adjustments to the timetable and a reduction in the frequency of trains on the line. These will allow for an increase in test runs on the new Class 777 trains as part of their phased introduction into passenger service. 

Changes will see the frequency of weekday services reduced from four trains per hour to three between 7am and 7pm. A normal service will operate before 7am and after 7pm on the affected days. Saturday and Sunday services remain unchanged and will run as normal.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has invested £500m in the new 52-strong fleet. But passengers awaiting their arrival have been frustrated by delays caused by the COVID pandemic.

In April it was revealed in LBN that it was likely the trains would be in service by the end of 2022. These works will see adjustments made to tracks and line side equipment to ensure new trains in an eight-car formation can serve the stations.

Zoe Hands, chief operating officer at Merseyrail said:  “We are continuing with test runs on the network as part of preparations for the introduction of the new trains.

“We would like to apologise to our passengers for the disruption that is being caused and thank them for their patience while this essential testing takes place.”

Click here for more information on timetable changes

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