Latest Rail News


Maynard confirms Halton Curve will reopen at end of 2018

The Halton Curve is expected to reopen when timetables change in December 2018, rail minister Paul Maynard confirmed today.

The 1.5-mile line from Frodsham Junction to Halton Junction has been essentially closed since 1975, with one northbound service a week remaining to avoid the costs of a full closure.

The line was due to reopen by 2018 after receiving a £10.4m funding as part of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Deal.

Answering a written question from Derek Twigg, the Labour MP for Halton, Maynard said that work on the scheme is expected to begin in June 2017 and be completed by spring 2018.

This will allow services between Liverpool and Chester to run along the line in December 2018, subject to agreement with operators and staff training.

The line will allow communities in north-west Cheshire and north Wales to have better links to John Lennon Airport.

Merseytravel is managing the development and delivery of the scheme via Network Rail, on behalf of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

(Image c. Wikipedia Creative Commons via Firstclassx)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


Lutz   31/10/2016 at 18:36

I wonder how much of any future patronage will have been cannibalised from the Wirral service?

Huguenot   31/10/2016 at 19:47

I don't think the Wirral Line need worry. However, services on the Halton Curve will only be successful if there are through trains to North Wales. A mere Lime Street to Chester shuttle won't do.

Roy   31/10/2016 at 21:37

I agree. The Chester branch of the Wirral Line is already over crowded so their is nothing to worry about there. But where will these services go? Just to Chester seems a wasted oppurtunity.

Andrew Gwilt   31/10/2016 at 21:41

I was wondering that if this new spur line could of been doubled (double track) to accommodate more trains. Plus there could also be proposed plans to electrify the line and to Chester.

Noam   01/11/2016 at 08:13

Liverpool is just as important a destination, if not more so, to North Wales residents as Manchester. I'd suggest the Llandudno-Manchester service serves Liverpool on alternate hours. Once patronage has built you could introduce an additional hourly service, making Liverpool and Manchester both hourly.

Carl Spurling   01/11/2016 at 14:02

I understand the plan is at some point to run this service onwards to Llandudno and to Wrexham, but when i'm not sure as to when, but feel the Chester only is a preliminary service. This will be a very useful link for passenger from North Wales wanting to reach Liverpool Airport.

Geordie   01/11/2016 at 15:03

Does anyone know if there are any plans to include Ellesmere Port in future negotiations over new services in the area? It never seems to get mentioned even though Cheshire Oaks is now a major shopping destination

Elton   05/12/2016 at 10:33

My wish would be for Merseyrail to electrify from Ellesmere Port through Helsby, the Halton curve and link back to Liverpool Central. A southern Mersey loop line. A mere pipe dream?

Add your comment

Rail industry Focus

View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

Most Read

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >