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Manchester-Liverpool Railway Line

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what information his Department holds on the number of trains which operate on the Manchester to Liverpool railway line each week; (291453)

(2) what information his Department holds on the number of passengers who use the Manchester to Liverpool railway line;

(3) what information his Department holds on the number of (a) passengers who use and (b) trains which operate on the Preston to Manchester railway line each week.

The number of trains which operate between Manchester and Liverpool via Newton-le-Willows are shown in the following table.

Manchester-Liverpool via Newton-le-Willows

Number

Monday to Friday

36

Saturday

37

Sunday

31

The number of trains which operate between Preston and Manchester each day are shown in the following table.

Preston to Manchester

Number

Monday to Friday

62

Saturday

62

Sunday

39

Only a minority of these services begin at Preston; most commence or terminate at variety of stations in Lancashire and Cumbria off the electrified network.

More detailed information can be found on-line using the National Rail website, or by consulting timetables on the Network Rail website, at the following links:

Train Planner:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Table 90 (Manchester to Liverpool via Newton-le-Willows):

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/eNRT/May09/timetables/Table90.pdf

Table 82 (Preston to Manchester):

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/eNRT/May09/timetables/Table82.pdf

While the Department for Transport is able to access data from train operating companies on passenger numbers, such information is provided to us in commercial confidence.

Following electrification of the Chat Moss line between Manchester and Liverpool via Newton-le-Willows by 2013, all Manchester-Scotland services will be converted to electric train operation. Instead of running on the unelectrified route via Bolton and Preston, as they do at present, this will mean that nine trains per weekday will run west from Manchester on the newly-electrified Chat Moss route and connect with the electrified West Coast Main Line at Newton-le-Willows.

It is also anticipated, following Chat Moss electrification, that the number of Manchester-Liverpool services operating via this route will be increased, without reducing the number of trains running between Manchester and Liverpool via Warrington Central.

Electrification of the Chat Moss line will secure synergies with other planned upgrades, including infrastructure improvements which will raise the maximum line speed from 75 mph to 90 mph and thereby cut the Manchester-Liverpool journey time from 44 minutes to a target of 30 minutes.