Latest Rail News

09.01.15

Northern to run 319s Liverpool-Manchester Victoria by May

Northern Rail will operate a number of refreshed, four-car Class 319s between Liverpool and Manchester Victoria via Newton le Willows from mid-May. 

It had originally hoped to launch the new electric services from December 2014, but delays to the electrification of the line forced a delay, announced in November. The original plan was to start running two Class 319s after the December timetable change, with a gradual roll-out of a further 12 over the course of 2015. 

RTM understands from Northern Rail that the operator plans to initially have two 319s operating on the Liverpool to Manchester Airport services and then by May the number in traffic will increase to 10 covering that route and Liverpool to Manchester Victoria. 

A Network Rail spokesperson told us that work to electrify the line between Liverpool and Manchester Victoria via Newton le Willows is expected to be completed in “early 2015”. However, a date was not confirmed.

“We will keep people informed as the work progresses,” said the spokesman. “The rest of the north west electrification programme remains on target for 2016.” 

Northern is expected to roll-out the 319s “at a faster rate than previously” planned, but again the details on this remain vague. 

The latest announcement was made as part of a ‘complex solution’ developed by the DfT, FTPE and Northern to ‘maintain and create’ capacity on the north’s rail network. 

Alex Hynes, managing director at Northern Rail, said: “Rail travel is increasingly popular in the north of England, placing capacity at a premium. 

“Through deploying more electric trains to take advantage of newly electrified routes, we are able to help maintain capacity for FTPE and add more seats for customers in Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.” 

Northern has released images and a video of the refurbishment and re-livery project for the 319s. 

In addition, an unconfirmed number of refreshed trains will be rolled out on the Liverpool to Preston route in the autumn. RTM has asked the operator for a clarification on numbers, but at the time of publication had received no reply. 

(Image: c. Northern Rail)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Mikeb   09/01/2015 at 15:04

One reason for the delay seems to have been caused by the wiring train, operated by Balfour Beatty, being involved in a collision with a road/rail machine at Bryn Station in late November. It appears to have been out of action since and the completion date is now rumoured to be April 2015.

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