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Merseyrail boosts services as Covid effect eases

Merseyrail boosts services as Covid effect eases

Merseyrail services will be increased in frequency from 14 February, because more staff are returning to work as the effect of the Covid pandemic lessens. From Valentine’s Day trains will run every 20 minutes on most lines, and trains on the Chester line will run every 15 minutes. The only exception will be the Ellesmere Port line, where trains will continue to run twice an hour. Merseyrail warned that it will continue to monitor staffing and passenger levels closely, and that timetables could change again. Merseyrail managing director Andy Heath said: ‘I am happy to announce that we are now able to increase our services as the impact of the Omicron variant has reduced. This is especially pleasing as it coincides with more passengers returning following the government announcement of an easing of Plan B restrictions.’

New chief inspector at RAIB

Andrew Hall will be the next chief inspector of rail accidents at the Rail Accident Investigation Branch after Simon French retires on 31 March. Simon joined the RAIB almost 18 years ago. Until 1 April Andrew, who is a chartered electrical engineer, will continue in his present job as deputy chief inspector. He has been with the RAIB since 2004.

Rail Forum appoints second vice-chair

Rail Forum Midlands has appointed Simon Higgens of Storey Contracting to be the Forum’s second vice-chair. Simon, who is Storey’s business development director, was previously with civil engineering company Babcock, and before that he served in the Royal Engineers for 30 years.

Train named for former MP who campaigned for rail improvements

Southeastern has named one of its new Siemens-built City Beam trains in honour of the late MP James Brokenshire. The former MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup died of lung cancer at the age of 53 in October 2021. He had been an ‘avid campaigner’ for rail service improvements and new, modern trains. The naming ceremony took place yesterday, and one of the guests at the event was the new rail minister Wendy Morton.

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