Merseyrail is both a train operating company (TOC) and a commuter rail network, in Liverpool City Region, England. It is formed of two electrified lines of the National Rail network known as the Northern Line and the Wirral Line which run underground in central Liverpool. A third line, separate from the electrified network, is known as the City Line, though this is an informal term used by governing body Merseytravel to refer to local services it sponsors on the Liverpool to Manchester Lines and Liverpool to Wigan Line operated by Northern. The Merseyrail (electric) network has 67 stations and 75 miles of route, of which 6.5 miles are underground. Carrying approximately 110,000 passengers each weekday, or 34 million passengers per year, it forms one of the most heavily used railway networks in the UK outside London.
The Wirral Line is shown in green on the Merseyrail map. Services operate from the four terminus stations of: Chester, Ellesmere Port, New Brighton and West Kirby. Each line from the terminus stations run to Hamilton Square underground station in Birkenhead and through the Mersey Railway Tunnel, continuing around the single track underground loop tunnel in Liverpool's city centre. Trains head back into the Mersey Railway Tunnel back to one of the Wirral's terminus stations. Monday-Saturday services are every 15 minutes from Liverpool to Chester, New Brighton and West Kirby, and every 30 minutes to Ellesmere Port (Monday - Sunday). These combine to give a service at least every five minutes from Birkenhead Hamilton Square and around the loop under Liverpool's city centre. Connections are provided at Bidston on the West Kirby branch for the Borderlands Line to Wrexham, operated by Arriva Trains Wales, and at Chester to Crewe and London Euston, Wrexham and Shrewsbury, the North Wales Coast line to Llandudno and Holyhead, and to Manchester either via Warrington or via Northwich and Knutsford. At Ellesmere Port there is a minimal service to and from Warrington.
The Northern Line is shown in blue on the Merseyrail map. Services operate on three main routes: from Hunts Cross in the south of Liverpool to Southport via the Link tunnel from Brunswick Station through central Liverpool, from Liverpool Central to Ormskirk and from Liverpool Central to Kirkby. Each route operates a train every 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday, giving a frequent interval between trains on the central section. Some additional trains run at peak hours on the Southport line. Connections are available at Southport to Wigan Wallgate and Manchester Airport; at Liverpool South Parkway for services operated by London Midland, East Midlands Trains, TransPennine Express and Northern serving Birmingham New Street, Manchester Oxford Road, Blackpool North and various destinations within Yorkshire and the West Midlands; at Hunts Cross to Warrington Central and Manchester Oxford Road; at Ormskirk to Preston and at Kirkby to Wigan Wallgate and Manchester Victoria. On matchdays at the stadiums of Liverpool F.C.'s Anfield and Everton F.C.'s Goodison Park, Northern Line services connect with the SoccerBus service at Sandhills to transport fans to the stadiums. The buses depart at frequent intervals from Sandhills station and a ticket combining both methods of travel is available. Kirkdale station is within walking distance of Goodison Park.