Over the last few weeks, the operator has seen an unexpected and significant increase in wheel bearing faults which has affected the number of trains available to run. This has resulted in the full fleet being tested, with those trains found to have the fault being taken out of service for repair.
Merseyrail is now making further changes to timetables to ensure that a reliable service can be delivered on all lines, some of which are currently operating with rail replacement buses only because of this issue.
From Monday 13 June, trains will run every 30 minutes on the Ormskirk, Kirkby, Hunts Cross, New Brighton, West Kirby, Chester, and Ellesmere Port lines. Trains will run every 15 minutes between Southport and Liverpool Central.
A supplemental rail replacement bus service will also be in place between the following stations in case services become overcrowded.
- Spital and Moorfields stations
- Birkenhead North and Moorfields stations
- Maghull and Moorfields stations
- Waterloo and Moorfields stations
Rail replacement buses will be timed to minimise waiting time for passengers.
Passengers on the Kirkby and New Brighton Lines will see trains re-introduced on Sunday the 12th June with services operating the normal 30-minute Sunday timetable, before changing to an amended 30-minute timetable from Monday 13 June.
Merseyrail has confirmed that this timetable will remain in place until further notice. As trains are repaired they will be used to strengthen services where possible, providing 6 car trains at peak times.
Passengers are advised to allow extra time for their journey as services are likely to be busy and to check @merseyrail on Twitter for updates before they head to the station.
Andy Heath, Managing Director at Merseyrail said:
“I’d like to offer my sincere apologies to our passengers for the disruption that this unexpected and significant increase in wheel bearing faults is causing. We know that these changes to our timetable add inconvenience and delay into the day for the people of the City Region and for that we are truly sorry.
I’d also like to reassure our passengers that we are working closely with our partners and industry experts to resolve this problem, with progress being monitored daily. As soon as it is possible, we will return to our normal, reliable 15-minute timetable.
Whilst this work is taking place, everyone at Merseyrail is committed to providing the best possible service to help ensure we keep the people of the City Region moving”
Comprehensive travel advice for passengers is available on Merseyrail’s website https://www.merseyrail.org/timetablechange