Liverpool John Lennon Airport _460
A HI-TECH “tram-train” could link Liverpool John Lennon Airport with Merseyside’s rail network, the Daily Post has learned.
Merseytravel, the region’s transport executive, said if the hybrid trains are rolled out in the UK, the JLA link would be its preferred location.
It has also named a new tram-train route between Edge Hill and King’s Dock as also being on its wish list.
The technology, which has been pioneered in the German town of Karlsruhe, uses “light” trams that have the same gauge as “heavy” trains.
That means they can run on the existing heavy lines but any new track that needs to be laid is not highly invasive.
Transport chiefs hope the arrival of tram-trains in the UK will allow disused Victorian tracks to come back into use.
Using this smart technology, a tram-train would be able to run all the way from Southport, along the Northern Line, or from Lime Street Station, along the City Line, to the airport. At Liverpool South Parkway, it would leave the existing railway line and seemlessly transfer to a new tramway.
At the moment, passengers going to the airport have to take a train to South Parkway and then catch the 501 shuttle bus to the airport. The new 501 service was only launched last month.
Cllr Peter Millea, Liverpool’s executive member for assets and development, has long championed sending a tram through South Liverpool and connecting the airport up to the rest of the rail network.
Last night, Cllr Millea, who is also the leader of the Liberal Democrats on Merseytravel’s board, told the Daily Post: “This is great news, and something for which I have been lobbying for some while.
“The infrastructure is already in place, insofar as Liverpool South Parkway is served by local, regional and national rail services, and all that is needed is a short link from the station to John Lennon Airport, giving us something most other airports take for granted – a direct rail link.”