Brand new trains and replacing Pacers are two of the criteria for which bidders must provide plans when bidding for the Northern franchise, the Department for Transport announced today (February 27).
Extra capacity delivered through more carriages, increased frequencies or more services is also a criteria for the TransPennine franchise.
The Department for Transport issued Invitations To Tender for both franchises today (February 27.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This is an historic moment for the North. Improving rail links in the region has been much anticipated. These old trains have been rattling across rails in the North for over 30 years - a constant source of complaint which have held the region back.”
Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “This is great news for passengers across the North, who will finally get a rail service that matches up to the booming economy in this region. That means more seats, more services and a brand new fleet of modern trains.”
Chairman of Rail North Sir Richard Leese said: “This is only the starting point. The Invitations To Tender specify the minimum required from the new franchisees, and Rail North will continue to push for greater enhancements in future years which will help deliver regional economic growth by helping people get to jobs faster, in comfort and affordably.”
Bidders for the Northern franchise are Abellio Northern Ltd, Arriva Rail North Ltd and Govia Northern Ltd. Deadline for submissions is June 26.
Bidders for the TransPennine Express franchise are: FirstTransPennine Express Ltd, Keolis Go-Ahead Ltd and Stagecoach TransPennine Express Trains Ltd. Deadline for submissions is May 28.
- For more on this story, see RAIL 770, published on March 18