Passengers made the first journeys on an electric train between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport station this morning (5 March).
The 0616 Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport service was the first train to use the newly electrified route following the completion of work by Network Rail.
The completely revitalised Northern trains have had extensive work done ahead of their maiden journeys with striking new look exterior paintwork, as well as refreshed and modernised interiors which include new paintwork and improved seating for a more comfortable journey.
Newly-installed on-board information technology means customers will be better informed about their journey while travelling via new digital screens and automated audio announcements to support the conductor.
The trains launched today are first of a new fleet of 20 trains which will be rolled out on the route in coming months. The electrification of the line means that passengers are able to travel on electric trains which are quieter, more reliable and have more space.
Network Rail recently completed the electrification of the route between Newton-le-Willows and Liverpool Lime Street which linked the previously electrified section between Manchester and Newton-le-Willows.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “This first electric train to travel between Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Airport signifies the completion of the latest stage of a much bigger electrification programme in the north west.
“When the North West electrification upgrades and network improvements are completed in 2019 they will deliver significant, long term benefits to passengers across the north of England.”
Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern said: “What an exciting time for our customers in the North West! Being able to deliver these electric services to them is the culmination of years of planning and will bring more seats, more space and improved journeys for our customers.”
This is the latest milestone in a major programme of work which will see around 200 rail track miles electrified in the north west of England as part of a £1bn+ investment in the railway to provide passengers with a faster, more regular and reliable service.