Work to improve reliability for train passengers in and out of Liverpool was completed successfully last night.

The Weaver-Wavertree project, covering 22 miles of railway in the Liverpool City Region, transferred signalling control at Allerton, Speke and Garston to the Manchester Rail Operating Centre.

This will bring more reliable journeys for passengers, minimising delays by enabling faster decision-making. It also paves the way for more frequent trains with more seats for more passengers in future.

The nine-day job, from December 24 until late on January 1, is part of the Great North Rail Project (GNRP), a rail industry team effort to transform train travel for customers over the long term through track and train improvements.

On Merseyside £340m is being invested in railway upgrades, jointly funded by Liverpool City Region and Network Rail.

Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “This is another important milestone in the Great North Rail Project. Improved rail travel on Merseyside will help continue the region’s strong economic growth. It will help create new opportunities for people who live and work here. I’d like to thank people for bearing with us as we did this vital work over the Christmas period.”

The Weaver-Wavertree scheme follows the successful transformation of Liverpool Lime Street and the upgrade of Halton Curve, which paves way for more services between Lime Street and Chester in future.

Councillor Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region transport portfolio holder, said: “Although this has been a challenging and complex piece of work, the resulting increased reliability and frequency it will deliver is another step toward providing an improved service for passengers across the Liverpool City Region.”

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “This is an important step forward for the Great North Rail Project and will mean customers will see more numerous and more reliable services as a direct result of the investment being made in the North’s railways.

“As part of our long-term plan to change and improve, train companies and Network Rail are investing over £50bn that will see thousands of new trains and services added by the early 2020s, and this will also benefit the economy.”

Other significant Great North Rail Project upgrades over the Christmas break include:

  • Strengthening the electricity supply between Ordsall in Manchester and Stalybridge to provide extra resilience to power electric trains.
  • Remodelling of station platforms and track on Merseyside for the arrival of Merseyrail’s new state-of-the-art trains from 2020
  • Overhead wire installation on lines east of Manchester Victoria station.
  • Preparation work in the Katherine Street tunnel Tunnel at Ashton-under-Lyne to enable lineside cables to be laid.
  • Lineside drainage improvements near Ashton-under-Lyne station.

Passengers can plan their journeys and check before they travel at