Merseyrail is celebrating 50 years of service this month, following the brand first being seen on trains in October 1971.
It was then that the name ‘Merseyrail’ started to be applied to the Wirral line trains with the Northern line roll-out following the year after along with station entrance signage, timetables, posters and more.
Pupils from schools across the Liverpool City Region have celebrated this anniversary by designing birthday cards for the rail operator, congratulating them on 50 years of service to local people and visitors alike.
The name ‘Merseyrail’ was created by the British Rail Liverpool Division following the creation of The Mersey Railways Extensions Act, and it was decided that a new name was needed due to the local nature of how our rail systems were operated.
The network was divided into four separate segments – Exchange, Central Low-Level, Central and Lime Street – and it was decided that the routes would be renamed Northern, Wirral and City lines.
It was not just the name that changed, however, as the development of the brand involved a series of initiatives including service improvements, fares simplification and publicity and advertising.
A lot has happened over the last 50 years, including:
- The opening of the Loop line underground stations in 1977
- New Class 507 trains entering into service in 1978
- Opening of Bache, Bromborough Rake and Eastham Rake stations in 1984, 1985 and 1995
- Opening of Overpool station in 1988
- Opening of Brunswick and Conway Park stations in 1998
- Opening of Liverpool South Parkway station in 2006
- Opening of Maghull North station in 2018
There is a lot more to look forward to also, with a new fleet of state-of-the-art trains on the horizon and potential new stations at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby and the reopening of the old St James station.
Andy Heath, Managing Director for Merseyrail, said:
“Over the last 50 years the Merseyrail brand has gone from strength to strength – from creation to the upcoming roll-out of the new fleet of trains.
“It is a privilege to serve the people of the Liverpool City Region and our performance is a result of the hard work and dedication shown by our staff day-in, day-out.
“Being recognised for our punctuality and winning multiple awards is an honour and I’m sure the best is yet to come.”