The present Northern Rail franchise has applied to the Office of Rail and Road on behalf of incoming operator Arriva Rail North, for permission to take over the services currently operated by First TransPennine Express between Manchester and Blackpool North, Barrow and Windermere from the start of the new franchise on April 1.
The documentation notes that the application is being made “as instructed by the Secretary of State for Transport”.
The application notes that the change will have “a detrimental effect in performance terms as these services have historically been measured on ‘less then ten minutes’ when addressing the Public Performance Measure criteria, and will now be measured on ‘less than five minutes‘. It notes that trains that were once meeting the criteria will now fail, and thus Arriva Rail North’s overall target PPM has been reduced marginally.
Early in January, Arriva told RAIL that it was not yet able to say whether it would operate Class 156s on these routes, or whether it would be taking over some of FTPE’s Class 185s that are currently used on these services.