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Merseyrail is a metro railway system serving the Liverpool City Region and adjacent areas of Cheshire and Lancashire. Merseyrail operates 66 railway stations across two lines – the Northern Line and the Wirral Line, which are dedicated 750 V DC third rail electrified lines converging into underground sections in the centres of Liverpool and Birkenhead. Merseyrail branding is also applied to stations and ticketing on the City Line, which are within the Liverpool City Region but operated by other train operating companies, predominantly Northern Trains. The City Line services operate on the Liverpool to Manchester Lines and the Liverpool to Wigan Line using a mix of AC electric and diesel trains. The Merseyrail third rail network has 68 stations, 66 of which are managed by the company, and 120.7 km (75.0 miles) of routes, of which 6.5 miles (10.5 km) are underground. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the network carried 31 million passengers per year.The first part of the urban network was opened in 1977 by merging separate rail lines by constructing new tunnels under Liverpool city centre and Birkenhead. The full 1970s plans for the network were not realised, but the network has been extended on its peripheries with additional peripheral extensions proposed. The extensions were created by electrifying existing lines and then transferring the electrified sections into Merseyrail. Merseyrail is operated for Merseytravel by 50:50 joint venture Serco-Abellio, who superseded Arriva Trains Merseyside in 2003. The 25-year contract expires in 2028, with the aspiration of the Liverpool City Region government being to bring the network and its infrastructure under local public ownership. As of 2015, Serco-Abellio operates a fleet of 59 trains and employs 1,148 people.The first units of Class 777 rolling stock entered service on the Merseyrail network on 23 January 2023.

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