First electric Liverpool to Manchester train
Electric services began running between Liverpool and Manchester on 5 March following the completion by Network Rail of Phase 2(a) of the North West electrification programme.
Northern Rail’s 06.16 Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport services, operated by unit no 319362, was the first service to use the newly electrified route between Lime Street and Newton-le-Willows. The section from Newton-le-Willows to Manchester was wired in the first phase of the programme.
A total of 20 Class 319s are being transferred from Thameslink services to the Northern franchise to operate electric services in the North West. The units are receiving an overhaul ahead of their entry into service, including a new livery and a modernised interior with on-board information screens and automatic announcements.
Work continues on the section between Huyton and Wigan, which when completed will allow the Class 319s to operate services between Liverpool and Wigan.