The region’s new railway service provider Arriva has officially taken over the Northern franchise.
Transport chiefs, including minister Andrew Jones, gathered this morning to unveil the new-look North of England train franchise at a ceremony in Manchester.
Arriva will now run railway services in Yorkshire and the provider has promised a series of dramatic improvements in the next few years.
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 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.”
The number of hourly train services between Knottingley and Pontefract and Harrogate and Leeds will be doubled according to Arriva’s plans.
Mr Burchell said that by 2019, the company plans to deliver new 100mph trains which will operate between Leeds and Sheffield.
He also said there are plans for 30 newly-staffed station to improve customer experience, as well as extended opening hours.
Around 5,000 new members of staff joined the company today as part of the takeover.
Northern is one of the largest transport networks in the UK and provides more than 16,000 weekly train services to a population of 15 million people.
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.”
Source from: http://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/local-news/arriva-pledges-better-train-services-as-it-launches-northern-rail-franchise-1-7829180#ixzz458TXlLih