Electric train services to and from Preston have led to bigger trains and more seats on some of the busiest routes in the North West, it was claimed today.
The first two electric trains went into service in early March and an additional eight trains are now in service.
A key ingredient of a Northern Powerhouse is a world-class rail network, which is why we are investing heavily in transforming rail services across the region as part of our long term economic plan.Andrew Jones
The completion of the latest phase of the North West Electrification Programme is part of a £1bn-plus investment across the North of England to deliver a better railway including faster journeys, new rail links and improved stations.
Work to deliver electric services on the world’s oldest passenger railway has been a huge challenge.
To deliver the improvements, Network Rail has had to carry out major works including intsalling three new substations, and reconstruct six road bridges across the region.
Northern Rail brought together some of the key people who were instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.
Guests included representatives from Network Rail, MerseyTravel and Transport for Great Manchester.
The occasion was marked with an event at Liverpool Lime Street.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “A key ingredient of a Northern Powerhouse is a world-class rail network, which is why we are investing heavily in transforming rail services across the region as part of our long term economic plan.”
Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail, said: “We are continuing with the electrification of key routes between Manchester, Preston, Blackpool and Stalybridge.”
He added: “Major projects are also planned to ease congestion at Piccadilly, improving reliability and enabling more services to run through Manchester to towns and cities across the north.”