The North will have better rail quality than the South by January 1 2020, Northern Rail Managing Director Alex Hynes told delegates at the National Rail Conference on November 5.
“This is not about quality of rail services in the North catching up with the quality of rail services in the South. Forty-four months after the new franchise starts, we’re not going to catch up, we’re going to leap frog. And it’s going to be amazing,” he said.
The event, organised by RAIL and held in the Queens Hotel, Leeds, had an HS2-inspired theme. Hynes was also discussing changes planned for the next Northern franchise. The new franchisee was due to be announced shortly after this issue of RAIL went to press, with the new operator due to take over in February 2016. Currently operated by a 50/50 Abellio/Serco ownership, the franchise is being bid for by Abellio, Arriva and Govia.
Referring to the quality of trains and services in the North, Hynes asked NRC delegates: “How many people don’t take trains in the North because they think they’re going to get a Pacer?”
- For more on this, read RAIL 788, published today.
- To read about the north's views on HS2, and how it will benefit the region, read RAIL 789, published on December 9.