Arriva Trains Merseyside was the name by which the Merseyside Electrics franchise was known between the bankruptcy of the original franchisee, MTL, in (1998?) and the end of the franchise in July 2003. Merseyside Electrics is one of the most frequent commuter services outside London. Services run on two lines comprising 120 route-km serving the Liverpool suburban area - the Wirral line, extending under the river Mersey, links Liverpool with West Kirby, Ellesmere Port, New Brighton and Chester. The Northern Line links Liverpool with Ormskirk, Kirkby, Southport and Hunts Cross (map). The Merseyside Electrics network is entirely electrified using third-rail electrification. In February 2003, the Strategic Rail Authority extended Arriva's Merseyside franchise to July 2003. The franchise was reawarded in July 2003 to a consortium comprised of Serco and NedRailways (a division of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, Netherlands Railways). Uniquely, from 2003 the Merseyside franchise (referred to officially as a 'contract') is awarded by the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive rather than the Strategic Rail Authority, because the franchise is self-contained and totally separate from the rest of the British rail network.
Arriva Trains Wales / Trenau Arriva Cymru has been awarded the franchise to operate passenger services in the Wales and Borders franchise area, previously franchised to the National Express Group, for 15 years starting from 7 December 2003 (subject to passing reviews after 5 and 10 years).