Civils and stations

16.01.19

Northern to deliver new fleet of trains on Cumbrian rail routes this summer

A new fleet of trains will be introduced for the first time on routes in Cumbria as Northern bosses promise a host of new initiatives for 2019.

Northern’s 98 trains, which are a mix of diesel and electric, will be “drip fed” into national operation on the Furness Line between Barrow and Lancaster, and the Lakes Line which is between Oxenholme and Windermere.

The announcement was made at a meeting of South Lakeland District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee, meaning South Cumbria will be the first place to get the new diesel trains, with driver and train testing under way according to officials.

Councillors heard that the new rolling stock is one of a number of initiatives from Northern to “lure passengers back” after the regional director, Chris Jackson, admitted it needed to make amends and restore public confidence.

Jackson told the hearing that the company had “tightened the nuts and bolts” of its operation and said “we want to show we’re serious about introducing these new trains in Cumbria.”

He told the meeting: “People have heard about new trains for a long time and it may sound like a pipe-dream but they are here.

“We have 98 new trains on order – a mixture of diesel and electrics – and the Windermere and Barrow lines are going to be the first routes to be getting them.”

The first of three marketing campaigns will be launched next month ahead of Easter and officials promised there would be 11 direct trains a day to Manchester Airport from Barrow and Windermere.

Northern officials also said there would be reductions to day-return tickets for commuters and residents— as well as cheaper advanced purchase fairs to “capture the leisure market.”

Image credit - Martin RickettPA WirePA Images

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