Next Stop: Headbolt Lane – £80m station served by UK’s first battery powered trains to open this week

Publish date

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


  • Headbolt Lane station set to open on Thursday 5 October.
  • Liverpool City Region passengers the first to travel on publicly owned battery-powered trains.
  • Battery technology could help deliver network expansion across the Liverpool City Region and beyond.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced the opening date for Kirkby’s new £80m Headbolt Lane station.

The fully accessible station, the first to be served by the Liverpool City Region’s new publicly owned battery powered trains, is set to open its doors on Thursday 5 October.

“As a Kirkby native, I know how long local people have been talking about a station at Headbolt Lane. Thanks to devolution and the power it gives us to shape our own destiny, we’ve turned that talk into reality.

“We’ve invested £80m in this fully accessible, state of the art train station – and it will be the first to be served by our new battery powered trains. These trains are the first of their kind in the country and will help us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, paving the way for a cleaner, greener integrated London-style transport network.

“Headbolt Lane station sets a new standard for public transport in this country – and it’s the very least that our residents deserve. We’re incredibly grateful to local people and passengers on the Kirkby line for their patience and understanding throughout this project – I hope they’ll agree with me that it’s been worth the wait!”

Steve Rotheram

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

In a phased roll-out to ease in the new technology, the station will initially be served by one Merseyrail service per-hour to Liverpool Central, then services will gradually increase to four trains per hour.

Network Rail and its delivery partners will be working to complete some outstanding works including the car park, caused by issues with Buckingham Group. The station will therefore open with limited spaces before reaching full capacity in the coming weeks.

Headbolt Lane will be the second new station opened by the Mayor since his election, and the first delivered under Merseyrail for All, a commitment to expanding the local rail network across the city region.

The battery technology removes the need for a live third rail, which could enable the Merseyrail network to run to places previously inaccessible, including as far as Manchester, Wrexham, Warrington, Preston and Runcorn.

Both the new station and the region’s publicly owned trains are central to the Mayor’s plans to deliver a London-style transport network, which aims to make the region’s public transport quicker, cheaper, greener and more reliable.

Over 20,000 people in the Northwood and Shevington areas of Kirkby are set to benefit from having the new rail service on their doorstep - particularly important as 60% of households do not own a car in these areas.

With a bus interchange providing services to Skelmersdale, cycle parking and links to active travel networks, the fully accessible station will provide smoother connections to public transport services, encouraging greater use.