Merseyrail is a commuter rail network which serves Merseyside and adjacent areas of Cheshire and Lancashire. Merseyrail serves 69 stations, 67 of which it manages, across two lines – the Northern Line and the Wirral Line. The network uses 750 V DC third rail electrified lines having 75.0 miles (120.7 km) of routes, of which 6.5 miles (10.5 km) are underground. Since January 2023, Merseyrail commenced replacing its train fleet, withdrawing the Class 507 and 508 trains and introducing 53 new Class 777 trains. The network carried 25.5 million passengers in the 2022/2023 statistical period.The concession to operate Merseyrail is held by Merseyrail Electrics 2002, a joint venture between Serco and Transport UK Group (formerly Abellio UK). The concession is awarded by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and is overseen by Merseytravel, the passenger transport executive which co-ordinates public transport across the Liverpool City Region. Merseyrail branding and ticketing is also applied to stations on the City Line, which are within the Liverpool City Region but do not form part of the Merseyrail concession. Merseyrail was established in 1977, when existing railway lines were connected by constructing new tunnels under Liverpool city centre and Birkenhead. The network has since been extended at its peripheries, primarily by electrifying existing lines and transferring the electrified sections into Merseyrail. New stations have also been opened. Seven of the Class 777 trains can operate using batteries, which has allowed the Northern Line to extend beyond the electrified track at Kirkby to a new terminus at Headbolt Lane.
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