Starting today, Transport for Wales will be running hourly rail services between North Wales and Cheshire to Liverpool.
Through the reopening of the Halton Curve track, Transport for Wales will launch 215 new services per week and improved connectivity will provide a major economic boost for the region.
The additional services have also led to the creation of 30 new jobs.
Services will be hourly from Chester, calling at Helsby, Frodsham, Runcorn, Liverpool South Parkway (for John Lennon Airport) and Liverpool Lime Street.
There will also be two direct services per day from Wrexham General and one direct from Liverpool to Wrexham.
The first train departed Wrexham General at 6.35am this morning, where a celebratory event was held with the Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates. The Minister then boarded the first service to Liverpool.
Ken Skates said: “I’m delighted to be launching the new Transport for Wales rail services between North Wales and Cheshire to Liverpool.
“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.
“I’d like to thank all partners involved in this project and I look forward to continuing our close working relationship for the benefit of all rail users.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO added:
“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.
“It will be a major economic boost for the area and the fact Transport for Wales are delivering 215 brand new services a week, really underpins our commitment to building a better transport network for all.
“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.”