Action stations for Shropshire train passengers with new hourly service
Shropshire train passengers will find it easier to get to Liverpool thanks to new Transport for Wales hourly rail services between Chester and Liverpool.
Those using the Shrewsbury to Chester rail line will benefit from 215 new services per week including some direct services a day from Wrexham - the first for 40 years.
Welsh transport minister Ken Skates boarded the first of the new trains. He said improved connectivity will provide a major economic boost for the region.
Trains will link both to the city centre and to Liverpool South Parkway for John Lennon Airport.
The changes have been made possible thanks to a major engineering project, Network Rail's upgrade of the Halton Curve track in Cheshire, a one-and-a-half mile stretch of line.
Shrewsbury's train services have already benefits from improved services to Cardiff since Transport for Wales took over the rail franchise.
Mr Skates said: "Each day thousands of commuters travel between North Wales and North West England meaning excellent rail connectivity is vital to the economy on both sides of the border. By providing 215 new services per week, we will strengthen links with our cross-border neighbours which will create important economic and social opportunities. Improving access will also provide a boost to our local communities and regional tourism sector, attracting more visitors to Wales.
James Price, the chief executive officer for Transport for Wales, said: “Transport for Wales is investing £5 billion to transform the transport sector throughout the Wales and Borders network and we’re incredibly excited to see the introduction of the new services linking north Wales and Cheshire with Liverpool."
“This project saw an immense amount of hard work, dedication and investment by so many individuals and agencies and shows just what can be achieved by collaborative working.
“We are approaching our first six months at Transport for Wales and this is another important milestone as we continue to deliver our vision.”
It's expected the new service would remove the need for 170,000 road journeys helping reduce demand on key routes such as the M56 and A55.