First of the state-of-the-art trains for the Merseyrail network tested for first time

One of the new trains as part of a £450 million transformation for the Merseyrail network has been tested for the first time on the Merseyrail’s tracks.

Merseyrail posted a photograph and confirmed the testing took place in the early hours of the morning on the route to Kirby.

The state-of-the-art trains include a range of cutting edge features including free wi-fi, space for up to 50% more passengers and sliding step technology which will allow access for wheelchair users and those with bikes or buggies.

The units are being built and maintained by Swiss-based manufacturer, Stadler, and will replace the near 40-year-old fleet that currently runs on the network – one of the oldest in the UK.

The new trains have been bought directly by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which means they have been designed specifically to suit the local network, with features people from the region have said they want to see.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region said: “This testing is the next step in delivering  a London style integrated transport system. This will transform our local rail network and will involve investment of over £450 million,  which is one of the most significant investments in the Liverpool City Region’s infrastructure for generations.”

David Powell, New Trains programme director at Merseytravel said: “In the early hours of this morning one of the new trains for the Liverpool City Region underwent its first set of network testing on the route to Kirkby.

“With platforms having been upgraded last year, it was an opportunity to test the trains’ sliding step technology, which will allow step-free access for all passengers including wheelchair users and people with bikes and prams.

“We’re going to be carrying on testing the new trains across the network over the coming months, and will be using our social media channels to keep everyone updated.”

Photo credit: Liverpool City Region