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Rail North enters partnership with DfT

A partnership has been agreed between Rail North and the DfT for the renewal of the Northern and TransPennine franchises.

The principles of the partnership include the collaborative design of the franchises, arrangements for a single integrated structure to manage the franchises and the development of formal inclusive decision-making structures to inform and set the future direction for rail service development.

The new franchise process is due to begin in mid-2014, with operators expected to be confirmed in late 2015 and to begin service in February 2016.

Rail North’s objectives include features such as multi-modal smart ticketing, replacement of life-expired trains, additional capacity and station improvements.

The partnership was announced late last year, when commentators raised concerns about the lack of complete control Rail North will have over franchising.

Sir Richard Leese, vice chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said: “I’m delighted that the Secretary of State has been able to give his seal of approval to the work done by Rail North and the Department for Transport to make this Partnership a reality. We believe that a devolved railway will focus more on the places of the North, their prosperity and passengers. The railway has a key role to play in a more robust North of England economy, and sustainable economic growth must be supported by improved connectivity across the North.

“The joint working between the north of England authorities builds on the priorities and approach taken in making the case for the Northern Hub and the north of England rail electrification infrastructure projects. The new Partnership will focus on growing the railway to maximise the benefits of investment and determining future investment priorities, while at the same time providing passengers with better services and delivering a more efficient railway.”

“Rail North’s involvement in the North of England Electrification Task Force is a further example of the developing partnership between the Department for Transport and the North.”

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I am pleased to have agreed further details with Rail North regarding our partnership to run rail services in the north of England for the benefit of passengers and taxpayers. I am determined to give local people a greater say in running their railways and this will make sure they are at the heart of these decisions. Officials will now work hard to take these proposals forward as we get set for the competitions for the Northern and TransPennine franchises from 2016.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Jb   07/06/2016 at 22:40

May we please see some action to re-open the Skipton to Colne line which in addition to giving the local area back its rail service, would provide another much needed trans-pennine link!

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