Our longest running operating company in the UK is Merseyrail, the commuter urban network for the Liverpool City Region. Operations began in 2003 as part of a 50/50 joint venture with Serco and will continue until 2028. The concession is now just over halfway through its term, and is currently undergoing a business transformation with three major improvements projects: a new fleet, smart card technology rollout, and taking some of its asset management from Network Rail in-house.
The contract to manufacture the new trains was awarded to Stadler in February 2017 by Merseytravel who is our client for the concession. The new trains will be in operation by 2020. Merseyrail’s National Rail Passenger Satisfaction (NRPS) score was 89%, amongst the best performing train operators in the UK, despite which shows satisfaction at the way it handled major engineering works which have caused network disruption.
During 2017 Merseyrail has suffered considerable industrial action over the proposed introduction of trains which will operate under driver controlled operations (DCO) and the business continues to manage this on an ongoing basis. This was in addition to a considerable part of the network being closed for engineering work for the first six months of the year. This proceeded smoothly and passengers were fully briefed throughout.