Northern Spirit

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Northern Spirit
Northern Spirit Logo.png
156443 at Carlisle.JPG
Franchise(s): Regional Railways North East
2 March 1997 – 17 February 2000
Main region(s): North East, Yorkshire and the Humber
Other region(s): North West, North Midlands, Scotland
Fleet size: 201
Stations called at: Unknown
National Rail abbreviation: NS
Parent company: MTL

This article is about the railway company Northern Spirit. For the Australian football (soccer) club of the same name, see Northern Spirit FC.

Northern Spirit[1] was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by MTL that operated the Regional Railways North East franchise from March 1997 until February 2000.


Northern Spirit operated a mix of long distance regional, local urban and rural passenger services in the North of England and Yorkshire extending across the Pennines.

The network extended from Carlisle and Newcastle in the north to Scarborough, Hull and Cleethorpes on the east coast down to Sheffield and across to Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool and Morecambe on the West Coast. The long distance regional services connecting Sunderland, Newcastle, Scarborough and Hull with Manchester, Liverpool and Blackpool North railway station were operated under the TransPennine Express banner, the rest as Northern Spirit.

A daily Leeds to Glasgow Central via the Settle & Carlisle and West Coast Main Lines service was introduced in September 1999.

Northern Spirit's non TransPennine Express routes were similar to Northern Rail's current Routes 1-5, 7 and 8.

Rolling Stock[edit]

Northern Spirit inherited a fleet of Class 142, Class 144, Class 150, Class 155, Class 156, Class 158, Class 308 and Class 321s from British Rail.


Northern Spirit's fleet was maintained at Heaton and Neville Hill depots.


On 18 February 2000 MTL was purchased by Arriva and the franchise rebranded Arriva Trains Northern.[2]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3007932 Northern Spirit Limited
  2. ^ Recommended Cash Offer for MTL Services Arriva plc Press Release 18 February 2000

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Regional Railways
As part of British Rail
Operator of the Regional Railways North East franchise
1997 - 2000
Succeeded by
Arriva Trains Northern