Final reminder to Sunday travellers of changes to journeys between Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway

Journeys between Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway will be affected for the next three Sundays as Network Rail continues to upgrade the railway across Merseyside.

As part of the Great North Rail Project, Team Orange will be upgrading signalling between Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway over the next three Sundays (21 January, 28 January and 4 February) which will help provide passengers with a better, more reliable railway.

Liverpool remains open for business during the upgrade. Many main line services will be diverted around the work but some routes may involve a change of train or a bus replacement service.

TransPennine Express, Northern, East Midlands Trains, London Northwestern Railway and Virgin Trains passengers should check www.nationalrail.co.uk before they travel and allow extra time for their journeys.

Rory Kingdon, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “As part of the Great North Rail Project, this work is helping to improve passenger journeys in the Liverpool City Region. Engineers have completed much of the work so far over bank holidays when the railway is naturally less busy.

“The upcoming Sunday works are vital as we move one step closer to a bigger, better railway and I want to thank passengers for their patience.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee which oversees the work of Merseytravel, said: “It’s really great to see the continued progress and investment in rail infrastructure taking place in the Liverpool City Region.

“This is part of a £340m investment in the city region’s rail network by the end of 2019 that will improve connections and the capacity – investment that only marks the start of our ambitions.

“While this does mean some short-term disruptions for passengers in the area while work is carried out, the long-term benefits of increased and more reliable travel options will make it worthwhile.”

Jason Webb, deputy managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together train companies and Network Rail to enable a better railway, said: “Network Rail and train companies are working together in partnership with a long term plan to change and improve the railway for customers, communities and businesses in the Liverpool City Region.

“We’re reminding customers to check before they travel as we invest to improve signals between Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway, which will lead to better, more reliable journeys in the future.”

This work forms part of an extensive signalling upgrade programme across the 16 miles of track between Edge Hill station in the north and Winsford in the south, known as the ‘Weaver Wavertree’ project.

Across the project, five signal boxes will be removed with control moving to the state-of-the-art Manchester Rail Operating Centre. Once complete in May 2019, this will mean more reliable journeys for passengers, allowing faster decision making on the railway which will help minimise delays.

The work forms part of £340m of rail improvements being delivered over the next three years in the Liverpool City Region. The investment, by Network Rail and the Liverpool City Region – much through the government’s Growth Deal funding – will provide passengers with faster, more frequent and more reliable train services by 2019.