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New Northern and TransPennine Express franchises confirmed

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.”

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 790, on sale December 23.

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  • BigTone - 23/12/2015 13:31

    Hope for a speedy start on the train building so the services can be expanded asap

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 24/12/2015 00:01

    New franchises means new trains including the Class 230 D-Trains that are to be converted from London Underground D78 Stocks as they were used on the District Line with the last of the 133 S7 Stocks (80th S7 train) and the last one of the 191 London Underground Bombardier S-Stocks to be used in the new year on the District Line as so far all of them are now operating on all 4 Sub-Surface (Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines).

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  • BigTone - 24/12/2015 19:22

    The incoming trains in the franchise agreement will be brand new however there is no reason not to have a few Class 230's while waiting for the deliveries to get under way

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