Transport for Wales is gearing up for the start of new hourly services linking north Wales and Cheshire to Liverpool which will begin next month.
From 19th May, Transport for Wales will begin its new services along the route in what has been described as a “major economic boost” for the region.
A total of 215 new services per week have been created.
Services will be hourly from Chester, calling at Helsby, Frodsham, Runcorn, Liverpool South Parkway (for John Lennon Airport) and Liverpool Lime Street.
There will also be two direct services per day from Wrexham General and one direct from Liverpool to Wrexham.
Prices are now in retail systems with selected fares as follows:
- Wrexham General to Liverpool Lime Street Anytime Day Return £11.50
- Chester and Helsby to Liverpool Lime Street Anytime Day Return £7.50
- Frodsham to Liverpool Lime Street Anytime Day Return £7
James Price, Chief Executive of Transport for Wales, said: “Transport for Wales is investing £5 billion to transform the transport sector throughout the Wales and Borders network and we’re incredibly excited to see the introduction of the new services linking north Wales and Cheshire with Liverpool.
“It will be a major economic boost for the area and the fact Transport for Wales are delivering 215 brand new services a week, really underpins our commitment to building a better transport network for all.
“This project saw an immense amount of hard work, dedication and investment by so many individuals and agencies and shows just what can be achieved by collaborative working.
“We are approaching our first six months at Transport for Wales and this is another important milestone as we continue to deliver our vision.”
The new services are being introduced along the 1.5 mile long Halton Curve as part of Network Rail’s Great North Rail Project involving extensive upgrades to track and signalling meaning that the line was able to operate a new hourly service, in both directions, between Liverpool and Chester/Wrexham.
The project follows decades of hard work by local campaigners and significant work and investment by DfT, Welsh Government, Liverpool City Region, Merseytravel and Network Rail.
Services on the line all but stopped in May 1975, although the route was kept open with an occasional summer only parliamentary service from Chester to Runcorn.
Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Metro Mayor, said: “One of the Combined Authority’s key aims is priorities is to deliver major improvements in connectivity for our area.
“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.
“Thanks to this, there are now more frequent trains between Liverpool and Chester and the first direct services between the city and Wrexham since 1975.
“With future plans to expand further into North Wales and an aspiration for direct Liverpool to Cardiff services, this is just the start of us realising the potential benefits that re-opening the Halton Curve will bring.”
Marcus Barnes, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “The Halton Curve is a relatively small stretch of track in Frodsham, but it unlocks a wealth of leisure and business opportunities for the Liverpool City Region, its airport, Cheshire and North Wales.
“Our track and signalling upgrades, to allow trains to run in both directions on the line, were completed in May last year. It’s incredibly exciting that the Halton Curve will soon reach its full potential with new services between Liverpool and Chester, with some services on to Wrexham.
“This is another great example of the Great North Rail Project in action.”
Marina Farey from the North Cheshire Community Rail Partnership said: “Services commencement via Halton Curve is a significant event for our area. It will open up opportunities for our local communities and contribute to social and economic development in Cheshire and Merseyside.”