Battery-powered trains: New Kirkby station to see 'a rail industry first'

  • Published
Train at stationImage source, Tony Miles
Image caption,
Battery-powered trains will run between the station and Kirkby

Plans for a new railway station which, in "a rail industry first", will see trains run on battery power on its track have been been approved.

The station at Headbolt Lane in Northwood, Kirkby will see trains between it and the town run "without the need for electrification", Knowsley Council planning committee was told.

Planning officer Mark Quinn said it would make the area more accessible.

The committee was told the station would take about 18 months to build.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said a report produced ahead of the meeting said the station would become a terminus for Merseyrail and Northern trains and "effectively" replicate the existing arrangement at Kirkby station, "which would become a Merseyrail station with no Northern service".

'Cutting edge technology'

The plan for the site includes building a new station building and car park, upgrading of a section of track, bridgeworks and the removal of a redundant platform at Kirkby station.

It is part of a wider blueprint for battery-powered trains in the surrounding city region.

Mr Quinn told the committee that while the scheme involved the loss of green space and trees, the benefits of a new station outweighed the negative aspects.

He said it would bring a "significant increase in accessibility" for an area of Kirkby with low car ownership rates.

Rail development advisor for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Tony Killen said the application was "the fruition of considerable work over many years to secure a train station at this site".

"This scheme is a rail industry first with new trains fitted with the latest industry cutting edge battery technology, allowing trains to operate between Kirkby and Headbolt lane without the need for electrification," he added.

Ward councillor Tony Brennan said he was "looking forward to using the station" and urged fellow councillors to support the plans, speaking of its importance to the people of Kirkby.

"It brings forward what people told us [they wanted] and will be a welcome positive addition to Kirkby's bright future," he said.

Councillors voted to approve the plans, subject to conditions.

Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.