posted on 18th Jul 2023 08:03
On 6 July 2023 Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced that the first of the Liverpool City Region’s new publicly owned Class 777 battery powered trains will begin final testing on the network. The fleet is now ready to enter final tests and driver training between Kirkby and the town’s new 80 million GBP station at Headbolt Lane, due to open later this year, which will be the second new station opened by Mayor Rotheram since his election.
Once testing is complete, the Class 777s will be the first BEMUs in the country to operate in passenger service. “We are enormously grateful to passengers for their patience during this final testing stage but I can guarantee them that their new battery powered trains – and their brand new station – will be worth the wait!” It follows the launch of the region’s new 500 million GBP fleet earlier this year.
The battery technology, which enables the trains to run without the need for a third rail, will initially be fitted on seven Class 777 units. It marks a significant step towards the realisation of the Mayor’s Merseyrail for All ambition to connect more people across the region to more opportunities via an extended rail network. The technology could enable the Merseyrail network to extend across all six city region boroughs to places like Rainhill in St Helens, and Widnes in Halton, including possible links to places such as Wrexham, Warrington and Runcorn.