A new rail transformation journey begins today as Arriva launches the new Northern franchise
Rail passengers across the North, including the Mid Cheshire Line which connects Chester with Manchester via Northwich, Knutsford and Altrincham, will in time benefit from additional services and revamped ticketing as Arriva launches the new-look Northern rail franchise today.
One of the largest transport networks in the UK, Northern provides more than 16,000 weekly train services to a population of 15 million people.
By 2019, Arriva will have increased services to more than 18,000 each week whilst also replacing the unpopular Pacer trains through a multi-million pound rolling stock investment programme.
The unveiling of the new franchise, which has also seen 5,000 employees joining Arriva, will be marked at a ceremony held at Manchester Piccadilly station this morning, where Transport Minister Andrew Jones will join Arriva UK Trains managing director Chris Burchell, managing director of Northern Alex Hynes and transport partners from Rail North.
The Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership and the Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association wish Northern and their Directors and Staff every success with the new franchise.
Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Northern, said:
“Today is the day we begin to deliver our plans for the exciting next phase of Northern and each and every one of the team is focussed and determined to deliver for customers. Investment is exactly what customers wanted and we are looking forward to achieving major improvements before the end of the decade.”
Chris Burchell, Managing Director of Arriva’s UK Trains division, said:
“Today marks an exciting day for Arriva and the millions of passengers who travel on Northern.
“The journey towards a complete transformation in services for customers in the North starts now. Throughout the term of the franchise we will be injecting a multi-million pound investment to deliver a step-change in quality and are excited to now have the opportunity to start delivering on our promises to passengers.”
“We are investing in new and refurbished trains, journeys will be improved through refreshed networks and timetables, and our trains will offer more capacity and comfort.
“Our ambitious plans would not be possible without the 5,000 staff who join the Arriva family today. We value the experience and expertise they bring as we link cities and communities across the North like never before.”