The Class 777 on trial at Formby.
The Class 777 on trial at Formby.

Battery technology in new state-of-the-art trains to be operated by Merseyrail could lead to a direct rail passenger link between Helsby and Ellesmere Port.

Currently its trains can only run where a third electrified rail is in place.

But several of the 53 Swiss-made Stadler units on order will be installed with batteries, allowing them to operate for up to 20 miles off grid.

This opens up the possibility of passenger trains between Helsby and Ellesmere Port using an existing line not fitted with a third rail.

The potential route features on a map released as part of an announcement by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram about using the game-changing battery technology to extend the Merseyrail network.

It’s not going to happen overnight but neither is this a flight of fancy. I personally worked closely with Steve on bringing back the Halton Curve. So Labour has a strong track record.

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