The Department for Transport has confirmed the formal signing of contracts with Arriva Rail North Limited for the Northern franchise and First Trans Pennine Express Limited for the TransPennine Express franchise.
The announcement follows the award of the contracts on December 9 and a routine standstill period of at least ten days.
Arrive Rail North will run the Northern franchise for nine years from April 2016. It will remove Pacers by 2019, and provide more than 2,000 extra services each week and a 40% increase in capacity. Space will be created for an extra 31,000 passengers travelling into Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.
First Trans Pennine Express will operate services on the TransPennine Express franchise for seven years from April 2016. It will provide 220 new carriages, worth more than £44 million, providing 125mph services across the network. It is also delivering new and additional services and bringing in 9,000 extra seats into five major commuter cities.
The Government will receive £400m in premiums from First Trans Pennine Express over the life of the franchise, which was previously subsidised by government. The annual subsidy paid for the Northern franchise will be reduced by £160m at the end of the nine-year contract.
The franchises will be jointly managed from Leeds by the Department for Transport and Rail North Ltd, which represents 28 local authorities across the North.
Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “We promised passengers a world-class rail service that would make the Northern Powerhouse a reality - and I’m delighted that we found two operators that will deliver exactly that. These deals, which have been confirmed today, and the joint management of the franchises will bring the Northern Powerhouse to life.”
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