Rail Travel Transforming the North of England

Image Courtesy of DfT

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, have unveiled plans to give rail passengers in the North of England more seats, more services and a brand new fleet of modern trains.

The documents published how the the new Northern and TransPennine franchises will be provide plans to:


  • Replace outdated Pacer trains;
  • Inttroduce a brand new fleet of modern trains;
  • Tackle crowding;
  • Invest in stations;
  • Accomodate over 19,000 more commuters in Manchester during the morning peak;
  • Add over 200 new train services every day across both franchises;
  • Provide over one-third more capacity across both franchises; and
  • Introduce free Wi-Fi.

The plans unveiled today are only the first step in the plan to transform travel between the northern cities. It is also a big part of the plan take the North a powerhouse for UK economy.

More Trains, More Seats

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This is an historic moment for the North. Improving the rail links in the region ahas been much anticipated. These old trains have been rattling across rails in the North for over 30 years; a constant source of complaint which have held the region back.

“As part of my Northern Futures initiative I ask the people of the North what they wanted to build a stronger economy and transport was top of the list. So I fought hard to replace pacer trains as soon as possible.

“Today;s plans include a new fleet of trains and improved services that will better connect our Northern towns and cities. Modernising rail in the North will encourage business, boost tourism and give commuters the journey they deserve; one that is fit for a 21st century metropolis.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This is great news for passengers across the North, who will finally get a rail service that matches up to the booming economy in this region. That means more seats, more services and a brand new fleet of modern trains. Unlike the last Northern franchise in 2004, which included limited plans to invest in services or meet demand, this deal will maintain investment and grow to fit the needs of passengers for years to come.”

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