New state-of-the-art trains will be introduced on to the Merseyrail network by 2020 replacing the current fleet which is approaching 40 years old.
The trains will be owned locally, and publically, with the £460 million project managed by Merseytravel on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Built and maintained by Swiss manufacturer, Stadler, the trains will be modern, safe, fast and comfortable. The new trains will be able to carry more people, more quickly, helping support the growth of the City Region and with the potential to run on an extended network to places like Wrexham, Skelmersdale and Warrington.
The trains will be safer than the ones they replace in a whole host of ways, most notably through a sliding step that will allow level boarding at each doorway, so people won’t have to ‘mind the gap’.
The network will remain one of the most generously staffed in the UK, with around 100 staff who will work on-board the trains, including new customer service staff as well as existing security people, British Transport Police, cleaners and revenue protection officers.
The trains will no longer require guards to open and close the doors – this will be the responsibility of the driver, as it is on lots of other networks in the UK and abroad such as the Tyne and Wear Metro and the London Underground. However, all permanent guards and guards’ managers who wish to stay at Merseyrail will be offered alternative employment within the business, on the same terms and conditions as now.
Original article © Merseyrail.
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