services in Greater Manchester
A new direction for rail in the North of
England is now firmly on track, promising improved train services to boost the
northern economy, connect businesses and get people to work.
On 1 April 2016, two new rail franchises
were introduced to operate train services in Greater Manchester and the North
of England. Arriva Rail North is operating
the Northern Franchise and First Group
is running TransPennine Express services.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has
worked with its regional counterparts and the Department for Transport (DfT) to
ensure that the franchises offer a truly transformational package. This will
mean more frequent services with more seats for our passengers. Newer trains
with substantially increased capacity will also be introduced as the unpopular Pacer
units are phased out by 2020.
Rail commuters into Manchester will benefit
from an almost 30% increase in capacity on Northern services in the morning
peak and a 56% increase in the number of seats on TransPennine Express trains. More
than 500 new-build carriages will be delivered, stations will be improved,
there will be free WiFi on services, and new standards for customer service
have been set.
Crucially, key decisions about rail
services in the North of England are being made at a regional level. A new
franchising body based in Leeds – a partnership between Rail North and the DfT
– has been created to oversee and administer the franchise contracts in our
The best possible foundations have been
laid for the North of England’s future rail network. The new franchises will
deliver significant economic benefits for the region, supporting business,
tourism and job growth and contributing to the prosperity of the North of
England through better connections and faster journeys.
Find out more about local services at www.arrivarailnorth.org and www.tpexpress.co.uk.