Merseyrail is an urban network of vital importance to the transport infrastructure of Liverpool and its environs, operating on the Wirral and Northern Lines within Merseyside. It is one of the most punctual and reliable railway networks in the UK, with consistently high scores for customer satisfaction. It runs almost 800 trains per day and carries over 100,000 passengers on an average week day. There are 66 stations on the network, four of which are underground in the city centre, giving easy access to work, study, shopping and leisure. The Merseyrail network is one of the most intensively used networks in the UK, running on 75 route miles of track. Six and a half miles are underground and its services go through the original Mersey railway tunnel, which opened in 1886.
Patronage has consistently exceeded targets, growing 30% from 27 million passengers a year in 2002/3 to well over 35 million in 2016/17. A key factor is the way the concession is managed as a partnership in the local interest as much as the service standards Merseyrail must meet. The contract is unique both in its 25-year length and in its expectation that the operator will assist Merseytravel in progressing rail projects which support the regional economy and improve quality of life, but may not have a standard commercial business case.
You can find out more at Merseyrail's website.
Our ‘Rail Devolution Works’ report argues that further rail devolution will enable other regions and areas to also radically transform rail services in a way that supports economic growth at the same time as improving the journey experience for passengers.
The report takes a detailed look at how devolution changed rail services for the better in Merseyside, on London Overground, in Scotland and in Tyne and Wear.