THE first new Stadler-made Merseyrail train has made its way to a test track in Germany.

Described as a 'key manufacturing milestone', the news follows a successful static testing and sign-off at Stadler's factory on October 2.

Travelling up to speeds of 75mph, testing on the new 'driver-only' trains will be based around on-track performance which requires the operational and mechanical elements to be fully functional.

Some of the on-board cosmetics of the train are yet to be completed.

The testing has been taking place in Wildenrath to minimise the need for testing and any disruption on the Merseyrail network itself.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram told the Globe: "I’m pleased to see us moving another step closer to rolling out state-of-the art, accessible, publicly-owned trains on our network.

"The new trains are an important part of my plans to deliver a London-style transport network for the Liverpool City Region and I can’t wait to see them in service from next year."

The first unit should arrive in the UK in December and will be stabled at Kirkdale as a base for further testing and to provide training for drivers.

Matthias Hämmerle, project manager for Stadler, said: "These trains for the Liverpool City Region, are not ‘off the shelf’, but tailored to a very specific brief.

"Securing the acceptance of static testing for the first assembled train is a proud day for both our customer and everyone else involved.

"We look forward to continued working with our partners in Liverpool on the next stages of the project."

The trains will begin to be rolled out into passenger service from 2020.