Line News & Events

  • Parliamentary Train

    Remember the Parliamentary Train runs every Saturday until 5th September 2015 ....

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  • Railfuture AGM

    7th November 2015

    The Railfuture AGM this year will be held in Bristol at the Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel and Spa ....

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  • Steam Train Specials

    Look out for the steam train specials that will pass through Helsby, Frodsham & Runcorn East this year ....

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  • Halton Curve Business Case

    11th May 2015

    The Halton Curve Outline Business Case has been published by Mersey Travel ....

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  • NCRUG Scoop Three Awards

    13th January 2015

    NCRUG has scooped three awards in the Cheshire Best Kept Station Competition ....

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  • NCRUG News in Brief

    15th December 2014

    NCRUG are reporting news at Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn East Stations .....

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Halton Curve Campaign

In October 2014, we were pleased to announce a £10.4 million scheme is to start in the next few years to reopen the "Halton Curve" route from Frodsham to Runcorn which will enable Chester, Helsby and Frodsham station to finally regain regular daily passenger train services to Runcorn, South Liverpool and Liverpool Lime Street.

Services may also offer through links to North Wales in some form. This is the biggest announcement in our group's history and we look forward to seeing it all come together now and thank everyone for their continued support.

The reinstatement of Halton Curve has long history with NRUG being involved along the journey ....

In 2013, Merseytravel commissioned a refresh of a demand study originally undertaken in 2009, which indicated that there was a reasonable business case to reopen the line to two way passenger operation. The update is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2014, and is being funded jointly by Merseytravel and the Welsh Government.

The study will be based on 2011 census data and will consider future developments which are likely to take place alongside the line. It will specifically focus on the information required to fulfil the needs of the devolved major scheme process and will identify the areas which will benefit from the project being delivered - including those areas outside of the City Region.

Alongside the demand work, Merseytravel have initiated a refreshed technical study (in 2014), known as a “GRIP 3” study, to update earlier work from 2007; this has recently been published in May 2015 - see News section

This is an essential stage in helping to build the case for the reinstatement of the line. This work will be funded not only by Merseytravel, but also Halton, Cheshire West and Chester, and Cheshire East Councils, and also the Welsh Assembly Government. The modified GRIP 3 work was  expected to take approximately 6 to 12 months to deliver. This is a complex piece of work which will take some time to design up as well as obtaining the necessary approvals to take forward within Network Rail.

It has also been suggested that one of the reasons for difficulty in developing wider support for this project is the name of the project.

The use of the project title “Halton Curve” suggests that the project benefits fall to Halton and Halton alone. Clearly this is not the case and it has been suggested that the project should be referred to as the Mersey Dee Link to demonstrate that the benefits from the project fall to a much wider area.

However the title "Halton Curve" remains in use in the recently completed (May 2015) "Halton Curve Outline Business Case" - we await further developments.

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