First TransPennine Express

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First trans pennine logo.svg
Scarborough railway station MMB 20 185117.jpg
Info
Franchise(s): TransPennine
1 February 2004 – 4 February 2016
Main route(s): Liverpool - Scarborough
Manchester Airport - Newcastle / Middlesbrough
Manchester Airport - Cleethorpes
Manchester Piccadilly - Hull
Manchester Airport - Blackpool North / Barrow-in-Furness / Windermere
Manchester Airport - Edinburgh / Glasgow
Fleet size:
Stations called at: 60
Stations operated: 30
National Rail abbreviation: TP
Parent company: FirstGroup (55%)
Keolis (45%)
Web site: www.tpexpress.co.uk

First TransPennine Express[1] is a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup (55%) and Keolis (45%) operating the TransPennine Express franchise.[2]

First TransPennine Express runs regular passenger services in northern England, including services linking the west and east coasts across the Pennines. It operates a hub model radiating from Manchester and covering three main routes. The service provides rail links for major cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, York, Scarborough and Newcastle. Currently, all services call or terminate at Manchester Piccadilly with most continuing to Manchester Airport.[3]

First TransPennine Express is one of the few UK train operating companies running 24 hours a day, including through New Year's Eve night. For example, trains run between York, Leeds and Manchester Airport at least every three hours every night of the week.

Background[edit]

Previous logo

The TransPennine Express brand was launched in late 1998 by Northern Spirit, and maintained by its successor, Arriva Trains Northern.

In 2000 the Strategic Rail Authority announced that it planned to reorganise the North West Regional Railways and Regional Railways North East franchises operated by First North Western and Arriva Trains Northern. A TransPennine Express franchise would be created for the long-distance regional services, the remaining services being operated by a new Northern franchise.[4]

In July 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the TransPennine franchise to FirstGroup/Keolis, and the services operated by Arriva Trains Northern and First North Western transferred to First TransPennine Express on 1 February 2004.[5]

Depots[edit]

Siemens maintains the Class 185 Desiro Diesel and the new Class 350/4 Electric fleets at Ardwick depot in Manchester with a smaller facility in York. The Class 170 Turbostars are maintained by Bombardier at Crofton. TransPennine Express is headquartered at Bridgewater House in Manchester.

Future[edit]

The franchise was due to end on 31 January 2012, but in August 2011 the Department for Transport awarded First TransPennine Express an extension until March 2015.[6] Included was a clause to allow this date to be brought forward to April 2014 to allow it to coincide with the end-date of the Northern Rail franchise. In March 2013 the Secretary of State for Transport announced the franchise would again be extended until 4 February 2016.[7]

The future continuation of the franchise was not certain. Local transport authorities and consultancies had proposed merging Trans-Pennine services into other franchises to increase efficiency on the rail network.[8] The Manchester Airport to Scotland service could be transferred to the InterCity West Coast franchise after the electrification of lines around Manchester by 2018. The south Trans-Pennine route between Manchester and Cleethorpes could be transferred to East Midlands Trains who already operate an hourly service on the Manchester to Sheffield section.[9]

Services[edit]

North TransPennine[edit]

The core route between Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds sees four trains per hour between the two cities. This is made up of an hourly Manchester Airport to Newcastle Central service, an hourly Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough service, an hourly Manchester Piccadilly to Hull service and an hourly Liverpool Lime Street to Scarborough service. The Huddersfield to Leeds section is the busiest section of the route.[citation needed]

The Manchester to Liverpool section is supplemented by East Midlands Trains' hourly service from Norwich and a Northern Rail hourly Manchester Airport to Liverpool express service (which runs via Newton-le-Willows rather than Warrington Central), thus giving three fast services per hour between Manchester and Liverpool. Similarly, the service between Leeds and Newcastle is augmented by an hourly CrossCountry service. Trains between York and Newcastle are also operated by East Coast.

Under Arriva Trains Northern, Newcastle services continued to Sunderland. When First TransPennine Express first took over the franchise it extended the Manchester to Hull service to Bridlington, a decision later reversed.

In May 2014 an hourly express service between Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle Central via Manchester Victoria and Leeds will be introduced.[10] This will be the first and only First TransPennine Express service not to call at Manchester Piccadilly.

South TransPennine[edit]

An hourly service operates from Manchester Airport to Cleethorpes via Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Sheffield, Doncaster and Scunthorpe. The Manchester to Sheffield sector is supplemented by East Midlands Trains hourly Liverpool to Norwich service, giving a half-hourly service of fast trains between Manchester and Sheffield.

TransPennine North West[edit]

TransPennine North West runs from Manchester Airport to Blackpool North, Windermere, Barrow-in-Furness,Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley. It uses sections of the Styal Line, Manchester to Preston Line, West Coast Main Line, Furness Line and Windermere Branch Line. These services were formerly operated by First North Western with the exception of the Scottish routes, which were previously operated by Virgin Trains from Manchester Piccadilly.

With the completion of the first stage of the North West electrification programme, the Scottish services will be operated from 8 December 2013 by newly arrived Class 350 electric units and rerouted to stop at Wigan North Western after joining the West Coast Main Line close to Newton-le-Willows. Stops at Bolton and Chorley will be withdrawn as a result.[11]

North TransPennine
Sunderland Tyne and Wear Metro
2:50 Newcastle Central Tyne and Wear Metro
2:36 Chester-le-Street
2:30 Durham
2:13 Darlington
2:38 Middlesbrough
2:28 Thornaby
2:14 Yarm
1:58 Northallerton
1:49 Thirsk
2:18 Scarborough
2:07 Seamer
1:50 Malton
1:23 York
1:08 Garforth
Bridlington
1:54 Hull
1:36 Brough
1:18 Selby
1:09 South Milford
0:57 Leeds
0:40 Dewsbury
0:30 Huddersfield
0:13 Stalybridge
M60 motorway
0:00 Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
0:17 Manchester Airport Airport interchange
0:02 Manchester Oxford Road
0:08 Irlam(Limited Service)
0:16 Birchwood
0:21 Warrington Central
0:30 Widnes(Limited Service)
0:38 Hunts Cross(Limited Service) Merseyrail
0:39 Liverpool South Parkway Merseyrail Airport interchange
0:50 Liverpool Lime Street Merseyrail
Times shown are best times
from Manchester Piccadilly.
South TransPennine
3:02 Cleethorpes
2:49 Grimsby Town
Habrough
2:27 Barnetby
2:12 Scunthorpe
1:45 Doncaster
1:21 Meadowhall Supertram (Sheffield)
1:13 Sheffield Supertram (Sheffield)
Dore
Chinley
0:33 Stockport
0:14 Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
Mauldeth Road
Burnage
East Didsbury
Gatley
Heald Green
0:00 Manchester Airport Airport interchange
Times shown are best times
from Manchester Airport.
TransPennine North West
3:44 Edinburgh Waverley
3:37 Haymarket
3:44
Glasgow Central
Glasgow Subway St Enoch
3:26 Motherwell
3:06 Carstairs
No TPX
trains call
2:44 Lockerbie
2:13 Carlisle
1:55 Penrith
2:22 Windermere
2:16 StaveleyRequest stop
2:11 BurnesideRequest stop
2:08 Kendal
1:32 Oxenholme
2:23 Barrow-in-Furness
2:13 Roose
Limited
service
2:07 Dalton
1:58 Ulverston
1:50 Cark
Limited
service
1:46 Kents Bank
Limited
service
1:42 Grange-over-Sands
1:37 Arnside
1:33 Silverdale
Limited
service
1:26 Carnforth
1:17 Lancaster
1:49 Blackpool North
1:43 Layton
1:39 Poulton-le-Fylde
1:28 Kirkham and Wesham
1:00 Preston
1:11 Leyland
Limited
service
Buckshaw Parkway
Limited
service
0:50 Chorley
0:59 Adlington
Limited
service
0:56 Blackrod
Limited
service
0:53 Horwich Parkway
0:49 Lostock
Limited
service
0:38 Bolton
M60 motorway
0:27 Salford Crescent
0:23
Manchester Deansgate
Manchester Metrolink Deansgate-Castlefield
Limited
service
0:20 Manchester Oxford Road
0:15 Manchester Piccadilly Manchester Metrolink
0:04 Heald Green
0:00 Manchester Airport Airport interchange
Times shown are best times
from Manchester Airport.

Performance[edit]

Official performance figures released by Network Rail for period 7 of the financial year 2013/14 were down on the same period last year at 87.8% (PPM) and MAA up to 12 October 2013 stood at 90.5%.[12]

Rolling stock[edit]

First TransPennine Express inherited a fleet of two- and three-car Class 158 Express Sprinter trains from Arriva Trains Northern. It also operated Class 175 Coradias on hire from Arriva Trains Wales.

A franchise commitment was the replacement of the entire fleet, so in 2005 First TransPennine ordered 56 (later cut back by the Strategic Rail Authority to 51) three-car Class 185 Desiros, the first of which entered service in March 2006.

Most of the Class 185s were delivered in FirstGroup's neon blue livery. The "i" in the logo of Keolis is used as the "i" in the TransPennine Express logo in addition to the First "flying f" logo. The first eight units were delivered in First's dark blue livery, and later reliveried with neon blue vinyls.

The Class 185 trains proved popular with off-peak travellers, although these satisfaction levels decrease for passengers undertaking long-distance journeys and at peak times.[13]

Despite the 185s being bigger than two-car 158s, 185s frequently leave passengers behind due to severe overcrowding at peak times.[14] Transport for Greater Manchester stated in 2007 that projected passenger numbers would probably mean that 100–125 mph (161–201 km/h) 8-car units would be needed by 2014.[15]

It was planned to operate all services with the new Class 185 Desiros. However, weight restrictions on the Micklefield to Hull line restrict the Class 185s to 65–75 mph (105–121 km/h). To solve this and create extra capacity, First TransPennine Express leased eight Class 170 Turbostars from late 2006 that were surplus to South West Trains' requirements, and in November 2007 a ninth was transferred from Central Trains. The Class 185 Desiros operate across the network, the Class 170 Turbostars on services from Manchester to Cleethorpes, Hull and York.

From May 2014 services between Manchester and Scotland will be operated by 110 mph capable electric multiple units.[16] This will enable the diesel trains currently in use on the Manchester to Scotland services to be transferred to other TransPennine Express services.[17] The Manchester Airport to Blackpool route will also be electrified, allowing further diesel trains to be cascaded on to other TransPennine Express services. However, this will be after the end of the current TransPennine Express franchise.

In February 2012 the Department for Transport announced that 10 four-car electric Class 350 Desiros had been ordered to operate services from Manchester to Scotland via Wigan after electrification.[18][19] It was confirmed that all the existing rolling stock would remain with the franchise to boost capacity.

However in March 2014 it was revealed that the nine Class 170 Turbostars will move to Chiltern Railways.[20] MP Stephen Hammond revealed on 12 March 2014 that all the class 170/3s will remain with First TransPennine Express until the May 2015 timetable change and talks relating to First TransPennine keeping some of the 170/3s until the May 2016 timetable change are currently on-going.[21]

Current fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
 mph   km/h 
Class 170 Turbostar Manchester Piccadilly station MMB 35 170303.jpg DMU 100 160 9 Manchester Airport - Cleethorpes
Manchester Piccadilly - Hull
Manchester Airport - York
1998–2005
Class 170 First Transpennine Express Diagram.PNG
Class 185 Desiro Manchester Piccadilly station MMB 49 185101.jpg DMU 100 160 51 All TransPennine routes 2005–2006
Class 185 Transpennine Express Diagram.PNG
Class 350/4 Desiro EMU 110 180 10 Manchester-Edinburgh/Glasgow 2013-2014

Past fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Built Withdrawn Notes Number
Class 158 Express Sprinter 158798 at Doncaster.JPG DMU 1989-1992 2006-2007 Transferred to Central Trains, First Great Western, Northern Rail and South West Trains Initially 28 + an additional 2 sub-leased from First North Western. Later 28 + an additional 4 sub-leased from Central Trains. 2 units also briefly sub-leased from First ScotRail
Class 175 Coradia 175111 'Brief Encounter' at Crewe.jpg DMU 1999–2001 2007 Were subleased from Arriva Trains Wales.

After the introduction of the Class 185, they returned to Arriva Trains Wales

27 shared between First TransPennine Express and Arriva Trains Wales

Managed stations[edit]

First TransPennine Express' services run over a large area of northern England and southern Scotland. Many of the largest stations they serve are managed by a different TOC or, in five cases, Network Rail.

First Trans Pennine manage the following 30 stations:[22]

Gallery[edit]

185141 at York 
185132 at Doncaster 
First Class interior of Class 185 DMFO vehicle 
Standard Class interior of Class 185 MSO vehicle 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 4113923 First/Keolis TransPennine Limited
  2. ^ Keolis in the UK Keolis
  3. ^ First TransPennine Express route map FirstGroup
  4. ^ The Trans-Pennine Express rail franchise. Yorkshire & The Humber Transport Activist's Roundtable Briefing Note October 2001.
  5. ^ "SRA Announce Preferred Bidder For TransPennine Express Franchise" (Press release). Strategic Rail Authority. 28 July 2003. Archived from the original on no date. 
  6. ^ "New franchising programme" (Press release). Department for Transport. 5 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers" Secretary of State for Transport statement 26 March 2013
  8. ^ "Rail Franchising: Written evidence from First/Keolis TransPennine". UK Parliament. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Research Project on Reviewing the Franchise Map". Jacobs Consultancy. March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  10. ^ "Trans Pennine speed-up planned" Modern Railways October 2013 page 14
  11. ^ "December Changes: Changes to services between Manchester, Bolton, Chorley, Preston and Cumbria / Scotland". First TransPennine Express. 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "Rail performance results period 7". Network Rail. 
  13. ^ "The Pennine Class 185 experience - What do passengers think?" (Press release). Passenger Focus. May 2007. Retrieved 10 June 2008. "More than 90% of passengers said they are satisfied with the key measures – getting a seat, the ease of getting on and off the train and cleanliness of the train interior. ... However, the research also shows that passenger satisfaction with comfort decreases as the journey time increases." 
  14. ^ Emma Davison (31 October 2008). "Anyone for a game of train sardines?". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 
  15. ^ "Heavy Rail White Paper". Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority. [dead link]
  16. ^ West Coast Main Line route utilisation strategy, Network Rail.
  17. ^ "Britain's Transport Infrastructure: Rail Electrification". Department for Transport. July 2009. 
  18. ^ "Extra trains and faster journey times will boost capacity" (Press release). Department for Transport. 29 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Rail passengers in the north of England and Scotland to benefit from new trains" (Press release). First TransPennine Express. 29 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "Campaigners' fury as nine TransPennine Express trains sent south in 'crazy and scandalous' move". Manchester Evening News. 3 March 2014. 
  21. ^ http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=14995&player=silverlight&wfs=true
  22. ^ "Safe and sound train stations". First Transpennine Express. October 2011. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Arriva Trains Northern
Regional Railways North East franchise
Operator of TransPennine franchise
2004 - present
Incumbent
Preceded by
First North Western
North West Regional Railways franchise