Rail links to the Port of Liverpool will be upgraded as part of a scheme to improve the port’s capacity.
The Department for Transport will invest in adding a second line on the Bootle to Port link, increasing the line speed and improving signalling at Earlestown West.
The schemes are due to be complete by 2019 and will double the number of trains that can enter the port every day to 48, or two every hour.
Transport minister Andrew Jones MP, who visited the Port of Liverpool today to view two new options for increasing road capacity to the port, said: “We are determined to improve access to the Port of Liverpool so we can deliver a Northern Powerhouse by creating new jobs and an economic boost to the region.”
The rail upgrades will be used to support the Liverpool2 port development, which will allow the port to simultaneously handle two vessels carrying the equivalent of 13,000 20ft containers each.
It can currently only support vessels carrying up to 4,000 containers, and the new development is expected to create 1,000 new jobs in the area and up to 5,000 more in the wider supply chain.
Warren Marshall, group planning director at Peel Ports, which operates the port, said: “Upgraded road connections are essential but it’s also important to recognise the benefits of other modes.”
Port of Liverpool also recently opened a biomass terminal, which will supply up to 3m tonnes of wooden pallets from North America for rail transport to Drax Power Station in Yorkshire.