THE line between Liverpool and St Helens has reopened today (July 14) after a nine day closure to improve the railway in the north west of England.

Network Rail installed a new third track in the Huyton and Roby area to help increase capacity and allow faster journeys between Liverpool and Manchester as part of the £1bn Northern Hub and North West Electrification Programme.

Ian Joslin, area director for Network Rail, said: “This is the latest phase of more than £1bn of investment in the railway in the north of England and will help to provide better services between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and the north east of England.

“The improvements will deliver faster and more reliable journeys, more seats and extra capacity, all of which are vital to the continued growth of the railway and the positive impact it has on the economy.

“The work was carefully planned so the closure was for the shortest amount of time possible and I thank every one affected for their patience.”

Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern Rail, said: “We would like to thank our customers for their patience during the recent upgrade work.

"Services between Liverpool, Manchester and Wigan will be running as normal from Monday and the improvements can be easily seen by those travelling on the route.

"This investment demonstrates another move towards more reliable, faster and greener journeys for our customers.”

Passengers are already seeing the benefits of investment in the railway in the north west of England.

In May 2014 a new direct service from Manchester Victoria to Liverpool was introduced which takes just 33 minutes between the two cities, a 10 minute journey time reduction overall.

Further work will take place on the railway to complete the final phase of electrification of the route between Manchester and Liverpool before electric trains begin to operate from December 2014.