The management team behind Northern Trains Limited is asking those working on the franchise to think long-term, within the constraints of a two-year Direct Award or a seven-year franchise.
Consideration is being given to ordering more new trains, recasting parts of the timetable and working on infrastructure solutions that will ease capacity.
The Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort (OLR) took over from Arriva on March 1 after Government stated the franchise was no longer financially sustainable. Initially the deal is for two years (RAIL 898).
Northern Trains Limited will run the franchise. CEO of the public sector operator DfT OLR Holdings Limited (DOHL) and Chairman of Northern Trains Robin Gisby told RAIL on March 3 that the team would be: “Taking a longer-term view, and it seems certain that we will need to order more rolling stock. That is what I would describe as a ‘happy problem’ to have.”
He explained that the initial plan involves working with the stakeholder board that has been created, in order to gain the views of those who were critical of Northern and to show them the problems facing the franchise.
“In the short-term there are also some ‘short things’ that can be done around timetabling,” said Gisby. He also said that there is no truth in the rumour the franchise could be split.
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