Wales

New north Wales and Liverpool rail services start in May

Train at Chester Station Image copyright TfW
Image caption Passengers from Wrexham currently change at Bidston or Chester to get to Liverpool

New rail services linking north Wales, Cheshire and Liverpool will begin next month following the upgrade of a 1.5 mile stretch of track.

Among 215 additional weekly services will be daily direct services from Wrexham General Station to Liverpool.

The services are being introduced thanks to Network Rail's upgrade of the Halton Curve in Cheshire.

It has been all but closed to passengers for decades, running an occasional summer only service.

Transport for Wales (TfW) boss James Price said: "It will be a major economic boost for the area.

"The fact Transport for Wales are delivering 215 brand new services a week really underpins our commitment to building a better transport network for all."

Passengers from Wrexham currently change at Bidston or Chester to get to Liverpool.

Direct services ceased in the 1970s with calls for their reintroduction going back many years.

The cost for a day return between Wrexham General and Liverpool Lime Street will be £11.50, said TfW.

Image caption The upgrade work on the Halton Curve creates new opportunities, according to Marcus Barnes

Marcus Barnes, from Network Rail, explained that track and signalling upgrades on the Halton Curve, near Frodsham, were completed last May and "unlocks a wealth of leisure and business opportunities".

Marina Farey, from passenger group the North Cheshire Community Rail Partnership, said the new services marked a "significant event for our area".

"It will open up opportunities for our local communities and contribute to social and economic development," she said.

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