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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Grand National to have seven-and-half-minute train service

Merseyrail will run a special timetable for the Grand National Festival, with a seven-and-a-half-minute frequency of service running between Liverpool City Centre and Aintree station before the start and after the finish of the races on each day of the festival.

The operator aims to provide the best possible service to those attending the festival, which takes place from Thursday 13 April until Saturday 15 April.

Trains on all Northern line services will run to a slightly amended timetable. Some trains may leave a few minutes earlier than normal. Passengers should check the journey planner for up-to-date departure times before travelling.

Trains to and from Aintree will be as follows:

On all three days, a seven-and-a-half-minute service will run between Aintree and Liverpool Central/Moorfields stations at the following times:

  • From approximately 11:00 – 14:00 (before the races)
  • From approximately 17:00 – 20:48 (after the races)

Ormskirk line: Stations between Liverpool city centre and Ormskirk will have a normal 15-minute service. However, to allow the extra trains to operate, Aughton Park station and Town Green station will have a 30-minute service. Trains to Liverpool will not call at Orrell Park station between 16:30 to 21:00. Passengers should check the journey planner on Merseyrail’s website or the Merseyrail app for up-to-date departure times before travelling.

Southport line: Trains will run to a slightly amended 15-minute timetable. Passengers should check the journey planner on Merseyrail’s website or the Merseyrail app for up-to-date departure times before travelling.

Kirkby line: Some services between 10:00 and 21:00 will start and terminate at Sandhills. Passengers for Moorfields or Liverpool Central, or those making the return journey to Rice Lane, Fazakerley or Kirkby, may have to change at Sandhills. Services operated by Northern from Kirkby to Wigan Wallgate will be a rail-replacement bus service, with the last bus leaving Kirkby station at 19:20 each evening. 

Wirral line: All services to run to the normal timetable. Passengers travelling to the festival from any Wirral line stations are advised to change at Moorfields for an Aintree-bound train. 

Anyone planning to travel between the 13­-15 April is advised to plan their journey in advance using the journey planner on Merseyrail’s website to understand how the changes affect their journey.

Tickets can be bought in advance from any staffed Merseyrail station, or a Day Saver can be purchased online via the Merseyrail website. Any tickets bought via Trainline or other train operating companies’ websites have to be printed at a Merseyrail ticket office before travel. Mobile tickets are not accepted on MEL services. 

Passengers are strongly advised to buy tickets in advance to help reduce queuing time on the day.

A range of entertainment is planned to welcome those using the rail network to attend this landmark event in the City Region’s calendar with some surprises in store. As always, Merseyrail staff will be there handing out their famous flip-flops to anyone with sore feet after a long day at the races.

Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail, said:

“For many years Merseyrail has been proud to play a significant part in The Grand National Festival, helping to ensure thousands of festival-goers have a great experience. We are ready and excited to provide the same high level of service this year.

“An increased frequency on the timetable will ensure we get tens of thousands of attendees to and from Aintree quickly and comfortably. However, due to the sheer volume of people our trains and stations will still be very busy, so please be patient and check our website, app or social media before you travel.

“Once again, we will be providing our passengers with some fantastic entertainment to ensure they enjoy the Grand National Festival experience. And, as always, we will be distributing our famous flip-flops at the end of each days’ racing events to anyone whose feet need some respite.”

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