The Metro Mayor, along with key partners in the scheme, will be welcoming the first service from Wrexham into Lime Street at 7:59am on Monday morning (20 May).
Operated by Transport for Wales, the first service will call at Chester, Helsby, Frodsham, Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway, en-route.
Services between Chester and Lime St via the Halton Curve will run seven days a week (the first on Sunday 19 May), with services between Wrexham and Liverpool currently running Monday to Saturday, with two trains a day towards Liverpool and one towards Wrexham.
This is the first service to run direct from North Wales into Liverpool for over 40 years. Future plans will see more journeys into Wales, with some services running to Cardiff via Shrewsbury and to Llandudno.
The new service will generate 250,000 new trips, unlocking leisure and business opportunities between the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and North Wales. As journeys between the Liverpool City Region, West Cheshire and North Wales are currently largely car dependent, it’s expected that the new service would remove the need for 170,000 road journeys helping reduce demand on key routes such as the M56 and A55.
It also supports Liverpool John Lennon Airport and its growth ambitions, opening up a much wider catchment for national and international leisure and business travel.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“One of the Combined Authority’s key priorities is the delivery of major improvements in connectivity for our area and this is an example of us achieving that through new links into North Wales and Cheshire.
“The Halton Curve is one of many ambitious rail schemes across the Liverpool City Region that have been delivered by the Combined Authority, working together in partnership with a number of organisations.
“This is only the start of realising the benefits that re-opening the Curve will bring and the future plans for services linking the city region with Cardiff and the North Wales coast can only benefit us further.”
The Halton Curve scheme has seen the re-opening of a 1.5 mile stretch of track near Frodsham which links services from Chester onto the West Coast Mainline into Liverpool. Work to bring the track back into full use began in July 2017 was completed by Network Rail in May 2018.
The £14.5m Halton Curve project has been funded through the Government’s Local Growth Funding which is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund, along with direct capital funding from the Combined Authority. The final cost has come in under the projected £17.95m budget.