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Merseyrail Power Supply Upgrade

We have upgraded the existing power supply along Merseyrail’s 75km route.

This enhancement was in readiness for Merseyrail’s new state-of-the-art trains, which replaced their current fleet, that has been running since the late 1970s. 

The new electric and environmentally friendly trains, which were designed specifically for the Merseyrail network, are modern, safe, fast and comfortable, carrying more people, more quickly. 

To make sure there was sufficient power supply to run the new trains, we undertook extensive power supply upgrade work on a number of sub-stations and DC traction equipment along the networks Northern and Wirral Line. This included: 

  • Replacing the high voltage switchgear 
  • Building three new substations 
  • Upgrading nine substations 
  • Signalling modifications 

The third substation at Bidston was the most complex part of the project due to its location. Conventional methods (crane lifting and positioning the module from a low-loader) could not be implemented because the location was a rail locked site. This meant the team had to arrange for the substation to be delivered via rail. In just five weeks, the team created a new temporary works design and recreated all preparation work.  


The Merseyrail network is a self-contained network that operates over 600 regular services per day, every 15 minutes, to 68 stations throughout the Liverpool City Region, including four underground stations in the city centre that receive services every few minutes. 


In March 2021, we joined forces with Network Rail, The Tree Council and Wirral residents to plant more than 500 trees and flora near Port Sunlight station. 

The project was part of a wider campaign to help Network Rail improve biodiversity beside the railway line and formed part of the major improvement project along the Merseyrail network, ready for its new state-of-the-art trains.