First TransPennine Express
|Franchise(s):||1 Feb 2004 - 4 Feb 2016|
|Main route(s):||Liverpool - Newcastle
Manchester - Cleethorpes
Manchester - Edinburgh
|Fleet size:||51 Class 185 Desiro
9 Class 170 Turbostar
|Stations called at:||60|
|National Rail abbreviation:||TPE|
|Parent company:||First Group 55% Keolis 45%|
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, Leeds, York and Newcastle. All three routes either call or terminate at Manchester Piccadilly.
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.
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.
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.
Siemens maintains the Class 185 Desiro fleet 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.
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. 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.
The future continuation of the franchise is not certain. Local transport authorities and consultancies have proposed merging Trans-Pennine services into other franchises to increase efficiency on the rail network. The Manchester Airport to Edinburgh service could be succeeded by a new West Coast franchise route running beyond Manchester following the electrification of lines around Manchester by 2018. The south Trans-Pennine route between Manchester and Cleethorpes could be given to East Midlands Trains who already provide an hourly service on the Sheffield to Manchester sector.
North TransPennine 
The core route between Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds sees four trains per hour between the two cities. This is made up of an hourly Liverpool Lime Street to Scarborough service, an hourly Manchester Airport to Newcastle service, an hourly Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough service, and an hourly Manchester Piccadilly to Hull service. The Huddersfield to Leeds section is the busiest section of the route.
The Manchester to Liverpool section is supplemented by East Midlands Trains' hourly service from Norwich and a Northern Rail hourly Liverpool to Manchester Airport 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 boosted by an hourly CrossCountry service. Trains between York and Newcastle are also operated by East Coast.
Under Arriva Trains Northern, Newcastle services used to continue to Sunderland. When First TransPennine Express first took over the franchise they extended the Manchester to Hull service to Bridlington, a decision later reversed.
South TransPennine 
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 
TransPennine North West runs from Manchester Airport to Blackpool North, Windermere and Barrow-in-Furness, via Manchester Piccadilly, Bolton, Preston and Lancaster. 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.
From December 2007 this part of the First TransPennine Express network expanded to serve Penrith, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Motherwell, Glasgow Central, Haymarket and Edinburgh Waverley. These services had been operated by Virgin CrossCountry until November 2007 and then for four weeks by Virgin West Coast. This was part of a plan announced by the Department for Transport in June 2006 to restructure a number of franchises. Carstairs is also served by one terminating train from Edinburgh on Monday to Thursday evenings only, which connects with a Virgin Trains service from Glasgow to Crewe.
Figures released by NR (Network Rail) for period 1 of the financial year 2013/14 equaled those of the same period last year at 95.2% (PPM) and MAA up to 27 April 2013 stood at 91.8%.
Rolling stock 
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.
Despite the 185s being bigger than two-car 158s, 185s frequently leave passengers behind due to severe overcrowding at peak times. TfGM said in 2007 that projected passenger numbers would probably mean that 100–125 mph (160–201 km/h) 8-car units would be needed by 2014.
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.
Once the Manchester to Liverpool line is electrified, services between Manchester and Scotland will be operated by electric multiple units capable of at least 110 mph. This will enable the diesel trains currently in use on the Manchester to Scotland services to be transferred to other TransPennine Express services. 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. It was confirmed that all the existing rolling stock would remain with the franchise to boost capacity.
Current fleet 
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Routes operated||Built|
|Class 170 Turbostar||Diesel Multiple Unit||100||160||9||Manchester Piccadilly - Hull
Manchester Airport - Cleethorpes
|Class 185 Desiro||Diesel Multiple Unit||100||160||51||All TransPennine routes||2005–2006|
Future fleet 
|Class||Type||Cars per set||Number||Introduced||Planned routes|
|Class 350/4 Desiro||electric multiple unit||4||10||December 2013||Manchester Airport to Scotland via Wigan. Class 185 trains will be moved onto more congested routes to provide extra capacity|
Past fleet 
|Class 158 Express Sprinter||diesel multiple unit||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||diesel multiple unit||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 
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 three cases, Network Rail.
First Trans Pennine manage the following 30 stations:
- Companies House extract company no 4113923 First/Keolis TransPennine Limited
- Keolis in the UK Keolis
- First TransPennine Express route map FirstGroup
- The Trans-Pennine Express rail franchise. Yorkshire & The Humber Transport Activist's Roundtable Briefing Note October 2001.
- "SRA Announce Preferred Bidder For TransPennine Express Franchise" (Press release). Strategic Rail Authority. 28 July 2003. Archived from the original on no date.
- "New franchising programme" (Press release). Department for Transport. 5 August 2011.
- "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers" Secretary of State for Transport statement 26 March 2013
- "Rail Franchising: Written evidence from First/Keolis TransPennine". UK Parliament. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "Research Project on Reviewing the Franchise Map". Jacobs Consultancy. March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- New Cross Country Franchise: Consultation Document. Department for Transport. June 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2010.
- "Rail performance results period 1". Network Rail.
- "The Pennine Class 185 experience - What do passengers think?" (PDF). 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."
- Emma Davison (31 October 2008). "Anyone for a game of train sardines?". Huddersfield Daily Examiner.
- "Heavy Rail White Paper". Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority.
- West Coast Main Line route utilisation strategy, Network Rail.
- "Britain's Transport Infrastructure: Rail Electrification". Department for Transport. July 2009.
- "Extra trains and faster journey times will boost capacity" (Press release). Department for Transport. 29 February 2012.
- "Rail passengers in the north of England and Scotland to benefit from new trains" (Press release). First TransPennine Express. 29 February 2012.
- "Safe and sound train stations". First Transpennine Express. October 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: First TransPennine Express|
Arriva Trains Northern
Regional Railways North East franchise
|Operator of TransPennine franchise
2004 - present
First North Western
North West Regional Railways franchise