First North Western
|Franchise(s):||North West Regional Railways
2 March 1997 - 11 December 2004
|Main region(s):||North West, North Wales|
|Other region(s):||London, Birmingham, Yorkshire|
|Stations called at:||247|
|National Rail abbreviation:||NW|
The franchise was developed out of the North Western section of Regional Railways, one of the distinct regional sectors of British Rail which were established in the lead-up to privatisation. For a brief period from 1989, this section was operated under the short-lived Network NorthWest brand name, before changing to the Regional Railways brand. In 1997 the franchise was awarded by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising to Great Western Holdings. In March 1998 First bought the remaining 75.5% of shares it did not own to give it 100% ownership. First rebranded the franchise from North Western Trains to First North Western.
First North Western operated a mix of urban and rural passenger services in North West England and North Wales, radiating out from Manchester to Birmingham, Chester, Holyhead, Liverpool, Blackpool North, Windermere and Sheffield.
First North Western ordered 11 two-carriage and 16 three-carriage Class 175 Coradias to replace the Mark 2 carriages and Class 101s.
|Class 101||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||6||1956-1959|
|Class 142 Pacer||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||79||1985-1987|
|Class 150 Sprinter||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||27||1984-1987|
|Class 153 Super Sprinter||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||8||1987-1988|
|Class 156 Super Sprinter||Diesel multiple unit||75||120||18||1987-1989|
|Class 158 Express Sprinter||Diesel multiple unit||90||145||8||1989-1992|
|Class 175 Coradia||Diesel multiple unit||100||160||27||1999-2001|
|Class 322||Electric multiple unit||100||160||4||1990|
|Class 323||Electric multiple unit||90||145||17||1992-1993|
In 2000 the Strategic Rail Authority announced that it planned to create a new TransPennine Express franchise transferring First North Western's Barrow-in-Furness and Windermere services, with the North Wales Coast Line services transferred to a new Wales & Borders franchise and the remaining services combined those of Arriva Trains Northern to form a new Northern Rail franchise.
On 28 July 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the TransPennine franchise to First/Keolis with services operated by First North Western transferring to First TransPennine Express on 1 February 2004.
On 1 July 2004 the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the Northern franchise to Abellio/Serco with the remaining services operated by First North Western transferring to Northern Rail on 12 December 2004.
- Companies House extract company no 3007946 North Western Trains Company Limited
- "Summary of Events: 1986 to 2002". Museum of Transport Greater Manchester. Archived from the original on 11 November 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Network Northwest". Rail (EMAP) (93): 39. 6 April 1989. ISSN 0953-4563.
- Rail bosses cash in on privatised gravy train The Independent 7 March 1998
- FirstGroup Annual Report 31 March 1999 First Group plc
- Timetables First North Western 29 November 1999
- First North Western Announces Minimal Service Changes First North Western May 2003
- http://sulzerpower.com/geocities/nwc/firstnorthwestern.html First North Western] sulzerpower.com
- The Trans-Pennine Express rail franchise Yorkshire & The Humber Transport Activist's Roundtable Briefing Note October 2001
- The Wales and Borders Franchise House of Commons Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Third Report 17 March 2004
- SRA Announce Preferred Bidder for TransPennine Express Franchise Strategic Rail Authority Press Release 28 July 2003
- Serco joint venture selected as preferred bidder for Northern Rail train operating franchise Serco Group plc Press Release 1 July 2004
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to First North Western.|
As part of British Rail
|Operator of the North West Regional Railways franchise
1997 - 2004
Wales & Borders
North Wales Coast services
First TransPennine Express