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Railhub Archive
2006-03-22 NOR-001
Northern Rail


Northern Rail welcomes findings of franchise review

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Northern Rail

Northern Rail welcomes findings of franchise review

22 March 2006
source Northern Rail
type Press release

Train operator Northern Rail has welcomed the findings of a Government review into its franchise, which has been described as "an efficient and well managed operation."

Owned by a joint venture between Serco and Ned Railways, Northern Rail is the UK's largest passenger rail franchise, providing services for the North West, North East, Humberside and Yorkshire regions. It was created in December 2004, after a merger of the First North Western and Arriva Trains Northern franchises.

The franchise review was launched by the Strategic Rail Authority in March 2005, with the aim of reviewing the timetable, which had not changed for several years, to ensure it could meet current and future demands and offered value for money.

Completed by the Department for Transport (DfT), key findings of the review were as follows:

o Franchise operates efficiently
o Trains are allocated to meet the needs of peak time travel into major towns/cities
o "No compelling case" for amending the current timetable or allocation of rolling stock

Commenting on the report, Northern Rail's Managing Director Heidi Mottram said: "We're delighted with the outcome of the review, which has recognised the efficiency of the operation and the important contribution of rail services to the economic growth of the North. We will continue to work in partnership with DfT, the PTEs and our employees to provide punctual services and grow patronage."

In little more than a year of operations, Northern Rail has seen performance improve to just above 86% moving annual average (performance is currently at 89%), delivering its Government target one year early - a situation which continues to improve.

Other key highlights of Northern Rail's first year include:

o Passengers journeys increased from 60m to over 70m - a 10% + increase on last year
o A partnership plan with PTEs and local authorities focused on improving services
o Joint funding package agreed on six additional trains to cater for growth

"With the review now complete, we will continue working closely with our industry partners to look at improving the service we offer and at ways to grow the business, for the benefit of all concerned," said Heidi.

A copy of the DfT's statement and the franchise report are available from the DfT website at www.dft.gov.uk.


o Northern Rail is a passenger rail franchise that was formed by merging the predecessor train operating companies in the North West and North East of England - First North Western and Arriva Trains Northern. Northern's operations serve the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humberside regions, with a combined population of 14.2 million, representing 21% of the UK's Gross Domestic Product.
o Northern Rail is owned by a joint venture between Serco and Ned Railways - a partnership that brings together the operational expertise of one of the world's largest service companies with the proven track record of one of Europe's most successful rail companies. Operations commenced on 12 December 2004, with the franchise set to run for 6.75 years, with a possible two year extension.
o Northern Rail employs around 4,500 people across its network and operates 2,500 train services every weekday, serving more than 500 stations.

Railhub Archive ::: 2006-03-22 NOR-001


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