Northern Trains

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Northern
Northern Trains.svg
195001 of Northern Trains at Lime Street.jpg
Class 195 in May 2021 in Northern Trains livery at Liverpool Lime Street
Overview
Franchise(s)Northern
Main region(s)
Other region(s)
Fleet size345[4]
Parent companyDfT OLR Holdings
HeadquartersYork[3]
Reporting markNT[1]
Dates of operation1 March 2020 (2020-03-01) – 1 March 2025 (2025-03-01)[2]
PredecessorArriva Rail North
Other
Websitewww.northernrailway.co.uk Edit this at Wikidata

Northern Trains, branded as Northern, (legally Northern Trains Limited[5]) is a publicly owned train operating company in England. It is owned by DfT OLR Holdings for the Department for Transport (DfT), after the previous operator Arriva Rail North had its franchise terminated at the end of February 2020.

Northern Trains commenced operating the Northern franchise on 1 March 2020, taking over from Arriva Rail North. The prior operator had its franchise terminated early by the DfT in January 2020 amid widespread dissatisfaction over its performance, particularly in respect to poorly-implemented timetable changes. The DfT had opted to hand the operation of the franchise over to the operator of last resort. At the commencement of operations, Northern Trains publicly stated that its immediate aims were to improve service reliability and to proceed with the introduction of new rolling stock. For the latter, both the Class 195 diesel multiple units and Class 331 electric multiple units were brought into service fully during December 2020.

Services have been disrupted by wider events, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic. Northern Trains is also being impacted by the 2022–2023 United Kingdom railway strikes, the largest national rail strikes in the UK in three decades.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

In December 2015, the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded Arriva a contract to operate the Northern franchise as Arriva Rail North. It commenced in April 2016 and was originally scheduled to run until March 2025.[6][7] Within two years, the franchise was being widely criticised, in particular for troubled implementation of a new timetable in May 2018 that resulted in widespread delays and cancellations.[8][9] Later in 2018 performance continued to suffer, with many passengers protesting and a reduced service on Saturdays due to industrial action.[10][11][12][13] By November 2018, Arriva were re-evaluating their future involvement in the franchise due to a combination of declining passenger numbers as a result of the chaotic May 2018 timetable change and increasing compensation claims as a result of falling punctuality.[14]

In June 2019, the DfT's operator of last resort, DfT OLR Holdings, conducted due diligence into the franchise believing the both operational and financial performance to be "unsustainable".[15] In October 2019, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, issued a request for proposals to incumbent operator Arriva and the operator of last resort, which would result in termination of the franchise with either Arriva to be awarded a short-term management contract or the operator of last resort to take over.[16] In January 2020, Shapps publicly criticised Arriva's operation of the Northern franchise and suggested that the Government may step in to revoke its franchise agreement, bluntly referring to the service as "completely unacceptable".[17]

On 29 January 2020, the DfT announced its decision to terminate Arriva Northern's franchise and that the operator of last resort would take over.[18][19][20] This was the first time that a franchise has been removed from a train operating company due to poor performance since Connex South Eastern in 2003. On 1 March 2020, the franchise became directly operated by DfT OLR Holdings for the DfT, adopting the brand name 'Northern Trains, with the stated objective to "stabilise performance and restore reliability for passengers".[21][22]

Changes and events[edit]

By mid-2020, Northern Trains had considerably curtailed its services in response to the significant decline of passenger travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.[23][24] From 15 June 2020, both passengers and staff on public transport in England, including Northern Trains services, were required to wear face coverings while travelling, and that anyone failing to do so would be liable to be refused travel or fined.[25][26]

In 2021 Northern Trains was given a contract by the Department for Transport to run services for three years, with an optional extension of a further two years.[27] The contract was updated in 2022, to run until 1 March 2025.[2]

Northern Trains is one of several train operators impacted by the 2022–2023 United Kingdom railway strikes, which are the first national rail strikes in the UK for three decades.[28] Its workers are amongst those who voted to take industrial action due a dispute over pay and working conditions.[29] Northern Trains urged the travelling public to avoid travelling on its services on any of the planned dates for the strikes, being only capable of operating a minimal timetable due to the number of staff involved.[30][31]

Services[edit]

Northern took over all the services operated by Arriva Rail North on 1 March 2020.

Table of off-peak services[edit]

Below is a simplified list of frequent Monday to Saturday off-peak services, per December 2022 timetables.[32] Due to the extensive nature of the network, it has been split by region, then majority rail line.

North East[edit]

Tyne Valley, Durham Coast, Esk Valley Lines and East Coast Main Line
Route tph Calling at
Carlisle to Newcastle 1
Carlisle to Morpeth 1
Hexham to Nunthorpe 1
Middlesbrough to Whitby 14
Darlington to Newcastle 1tpd
Tees Valley Line
Route tph Calling at
Saltburn to Darlington 1
Saltburn to Bishop Auckland 1

North West[edit]

Furness, Windermere and Cumbrian Coast lines
Route tph Calling at
Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness 1
  • 4 trains per day run as Manchester Airport to Windermere, and Lancaster to Carlisle, services instead.
Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle 1
  • Kirkby-in-Furness, Green Road, Silecroft, Bootle, Drigg, Braystones, Nethertown, Parton, and Flimby are served on request.
  • 4 trains per day run as Lancaster to Carlisle services
Oxenholme Lake District to Windermere 1
  • 4 trains per day run as Manchester Airport to Windermere services
Morecambe branch line
Route tph Calling at
Lancaster to Morecambe 1 Bare Lane
  • Hourly service supplemented/modified by additional trains from Leeds.
  • 1 train per day extends to Heysham Port.
Liverpool–Wigan and Blackpool branch lines
Route tph Calling at
Liverpool Lime Street to Wigan North Western 2
Liverpool Lime Street to Blackpool North 1
Manchester Airport to Blackpool North 2
Preston to Blackpool South 1
East Lancashire and Ormskirk branch lines
Route tph Calling at
Preston to Colne 1
Ormskirk to Preston 1
Liverpool–Manchester lines
Route tph Calling at
Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Oxford Road 1
  • Most trains either call at Glazebrook and Chassen Road or Humphrey Park and Trafford Park.
Liverpool Lime Street to Warrington Central 1
Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport 1
Warrington Bank Quay to Liverpool Lime Street 1tpd
  • westbound only
Ellesmere Port to Helsby 2tpd
Crewe-Manchester, Mid-Cheshire, Stafford–Manchester, and Buxton lines
Route tph Calling at
Manchester Piccadilly to Crewe 1
1
Manchester Piccadilly to Alderley Edge 1
  • Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Handforth, Wilmslow
Manchester Piccadilly to Chester 1
Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke-on-Trent 1
Manchester Piccadilly to Buxton 1
  • Services either call at Middlewood or Dove Holes.
Manchester Piccadilly to Hazel Grove 1
  • Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Davenport, Woodsmoor
Glossop and Hope Valley lines
Route tph Calling at
Manchester Piccadilly to Hadfield 2
Manchester Piccadilly to Rose Hill Marple 43
Manchester Piccadilly to New Mills Central 1
Manchester Piccadilly to Sheffield 1
Manchester–Southport and Kirkby branch lines
Route tph Calling at
Southport to Manchester Oxford Road 1
Southport to Stalybridge 1
Kirkby to Blackburn 1
Ribble Valley line
Route tph Calling at
Blackburn to Rochdale 1
Clitheroe to Rochdale 1

Yorkshire and the Humber[edit]

Huddersfield Line
Route tph Calling at
Castleford to Huddersfield 4tpd
Bradford Interchange to Huddersfield 12
Wharfdale and Airedale lines
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to Bradford Forster Square 2
Leeds to Ilkley 2
Bradford Forster Square to Ilkley 2
  • Frizinghall, Shipley, Baildon, Guiseley, Menston, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ben Rhydding
Leeds to Skipton 2
Bradford Forster Square to Skipton 2
  • Frizinghall, Shipley, Saltaire, Bingley, Crossflatts, Keighley, Steeton & Silsden, Cononley
Harrogate Line
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to York via Harrogate 2
Pontefract Line
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to Knottingley via Castleford 1
Leeds to Knottingley via Streethouse 1
Wakefield Line
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to Doncaster 1
Leeds to Sheffield via Wakefield Westgate 1
Penistone Line
Route tph Calling at
Sheffield to Huddersfield 1
Hallam Line
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to Sheffield via Castleford 1
Leeds to Nottingham 1
Sheffield–Lincoln line
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to Lincoln 1
Sheffield to Gainsborough Central 4tpd
  • Darnall, Woodhouse, Kiveton Bridge, Kiveton Park, Shireoaks, Worksop, Retford
York and Selby Lines
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to York via Cross Gates 1
Halifax to Hull 1
South Humberside Main Line, Dearne Valley Line and Yorkshire Coast line
Route tph Calling at
Doncaster to Scunthorpe 12
Sheffield to Adwick 1
Sheffield to York 3tpd
Doncaster to Hull 1
Sheffield to Scarborough 1
Bridlington to York 1
Settle to Carlisle and Leeds to Morecambe
Route tph Calling at
Leeds to Carlisle 12
Leeds to Morecambe 12
Calder Valley line
Route tph Calling at
York to Blackpool North 1
Leeds to Manchester Victoria 1
Leeds to Wigan Wallgate 1
Leeds to Chester 1

Parliamentary services[edit]

Twice weekly on Saturday mornings, once in each direction, Northern operates a parliamentary train on the Stockport–Stalybridge line between Stockport and Stalybridge calling at Reddish South, Denton, and Guide Bridge.[34][35] From 1992 until 2018, this service ran once weekly.[36]

Multiple campaigns were conducted to request increase in services to the line,[37] but in 2022, Transport for Greater Manchester published two surveys in relation to the line.[38]

Since 1993, three trains from Sheffield every Saturday extend beyond Gainsborough Central and terminate at Cleethorpes, and vice versa.[39] The service was suspended between January and October 2022 due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[40]

Rolling stock[edit]

Northern Trains took over all of the rolling stock operated by its predecessor, namely Class 142, 144, 150, 153, 155, 156, 158, 170 and 195 diesel multiple units and Class 319, 321, 322, 323, 331 and 333 electric multiple units. All Class 321 and 322s were withdrawn in mid-2020 and moved to Greater Anglia.[41] All Class 153s were sent to storage by December 2021.[42]

Current fleet[edit]

Family Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages Routes Built
mph km/h
Diesel multiple units
Sprinter 150/0 DMU 75 121 6 3

Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, West Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire[43]

1984–1987
150/1 Hazel Grove - Arriva 150112+150138 Buxton service.JPG 46 2 1985–1986
150/2 26 1986–1987
155 Super Sprinter 7[27] 2

York, Leeds, Hull and Scarborough[43]

1987–1988
Class 155 Arriva Northern Diagram.png
156 Super Sprinter 56[note 1] 2 North East, Cumbrian Coast, Lancashire and Cumbria, Merseyside and Cheshire[43] 1987–1989
158/0 & 158/9 Express Sprinter 90 145 45 2 South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, Fylde Coast, North Yorkshire and the North East[43] 1990–1992
8 3
Class 158 Arriva Northern 2 Car.png
Bombardier Turbostar 170/4 100 161 16[27] 3 Scarborough - Sheffield, Leeds - York via Harrogate[43] 2003–2005
CAF Civity 195/0 25 2

Manchester - Derbyshire, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds and Barrow in Furness, York - Blackpool, Windermere and Chester - Leeds[43]

2017–2020
195/1 33 3
Northern Class 195-0.png
Northern Class 195-1.png
Electric multiple units
BR Second Generation (Mark 3) 319/3 EMU 100 161 12[44] 4 Manchester - Crewe, Liverpool, Blackpool and Liverpool - Wigan.[43] 1990
Class 319 Northern 2016 Diagram.png
Hunslet Transportation Projects/Holec[45] 323 323231 of Northern Trains at Lime Street.jpg 90 145 17[27] 3 Manchester-Hadfield, Manchester-Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester-Crewe, and Liverpool-Crewe[43] 1992–1995
323 Northern By Arriva.png
CAF Civity 331/0 100 161 31 3

Blackpool North - Hazel Grove, Liverpool, Leeds - Skipton, Bradford Forster Square, Doncaster, Ilkley, Bradford Forster Square - Skipton[43]

2017–2020
331/1 12 4
Northern Class 331-0 w-pantograph.png
Northern Class 331-1 w-pantograph.png
CAF/Siemens Transportation Systems 333 16[27] 4 Skipton - Bradford Forster Square, Leeds - Ilkley[43] 2000–2003
Class 333 Arriva Northern Diagram with Pantograph.png
Bi-mode multiple units
BR Second Generation (Mark 3) 769/4 Flex
769448 at Manchester Piccadilly.jpg
BMU 100 161 8[46] 4 Southport - Manchester Oxford Road 2017–2020 (1987–1988 as Class 319)
Northern Class 769.png

Future fleet[edit]

17 Class 323s are to be transferred from West Midlands Trains.[47][48] This will result in the withdrawal of all Class 319 units.[49] 15 Class 156s are to transfer from East Midlands Railway, which includes the 9 Class 156/9s formerly used by Greater Anglia,[50] although they will be renumbered back to 156/4s before they are transferred.[51] For the December timetable change in 2022, five more Class 156 units were transferred.[52] The transferral of these units is already underway, with more to follow.[51]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages Routes Built In service
mph km/h
Diesel multiple units
150/2 Sprinter DMU 75 121 3 2 Local services across the North 1986–1987 TBA
GWR Class 150-2.png
156 Super Sprinter 156489 in NR white.jpg 75 121 6 2 Local, commuter and regional services across the North 1987–1989 2021-2023
Class 156 in Arriva Northern Livery.png
Electric multiple units
323[53] EMU 90 145 17 3
  • Electrified commuter services in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Merseyside
1992–1995 2024[54]
323 Northern By Arriva.png

Past fleet[edit]

Former train types operated by Northern Trains include:

Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages Routes Notes Built Left fleet
mph km/h
142 Pacer DMU 75 121 79 2 Local and commuter services across the North

Replaced by Class 150, Class 156, Class 158, Class 170, and Class 195 units.

1985–1987 2020
144 Pacer 144013 at Morecambe.jpg 23 1986–1987
153 Super Sprinter Northern Rail Class 153, 153352, platform 5, Lancaster railway station (geograph 4499685).jpg 17 1 Replaced by Class 150 units, later sent to storage[42] 1987–1988 2020–2021
321/9
EMU 100 161 3 4 Electrified commuter services in West Yorkshire Replaced by Class 331 units 1991 2020
322 322485 Leeds.jpg 5 1990

Depots[edit]

Northern Trains currently has depots for its train crew at Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn, Blackpool North, Buxton, Carlisle, Darlington (drivers), Doncaster, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull, Liverpool Lime Street, Leeds, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Middlesbrough (conductors), Newcastle, Sheffield, Skipton, Wigan Wallgate, Workington and York.

Northern Trains' fleet is maintained at depots listed in the table below:

Depot Picture Allocation Nearest station
Allerton TMD 150, 156, 195, 319, 323,[55] 331, 769 Liverpool South Parkway
Blackburn King Street TMD 150, 156, 195 Blackburn
Botanic Gardens TMD 08, 155, 158, 170 Hull Paragon
Heaton TMD 156, 158 Manors
Newton Heath TMD 150, 156, 158, 195 Moston
Neville Hill TMD 155, 158, 170, 331, 333 Leeds
Wigan Springs Branch TMD 158, 195, 319, 331, 769 Wigan North Western

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cacsade of Class 156 units from East Midlands Railway is underway as of January 2023.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Rail Enquiries - Northern". www.nationalrail.co.uk. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  2. ^ a b "DfT OLR Holdings Limited and Northern Trains Limited 2022: services contract" (PDF). Department for Transport. 24 February 2022. Retrieved 2 February 2023.
  3. ^ "About Northern". www.northernrailway.co.uk. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Northern's first 'intelligent' train enters trial service". The Railway Magazine. No. 1461. December 2022. p. 88.
  5. ^ "Northern Trains Limited". Companies House. Archived from the original on 24 December 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Northern and TransPennine Express franchises awarded". Railway Gazette International. 9 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Arriva and First win franchises with 500 new carriages promise". The Railway Magazine. No. 1378. January 2016. p. 6.
  8. ^ Calder, Simon (21 May 2018). "Passenger fury at Northern Rail as train chaos hits Blackpool, Bolton and Manchester Airport on first day of new timetable". The Independent. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  9. ^ "'Unacceptable #NorthernFail' – the travel chaos passengers faced on first working day of new Northern timetable". Manchester Evening News. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Northern is a disaster. Why have commuters been left to face it alone?". The Guardian. 21 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Rail network 'crippling the North': Leeds commuter's angry open letter about life as a Northern passenger". Yorkshire Post. 14 October 2018.
  12. ^ Paton, Graeme (16 October 2018). "Manchester Oxford Road station is worst for delays". The Times.
  13. ^ "UK's railway stations with most train delays revealed". BBC News. 16 October 2018.
  14. ^ Gill, Oliver (4 November 2018). "German rail giant seeks help to prop up UK arm that owns Northern franchise". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  15. ^ "Northern rail operator faces end of the line". The Times. 2 June 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  16. ^ Northern franchise to end within months Modern Railways issue 857 February 2020 page 8
  17. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Topham, Gwyn (2 January 2020). "Northern rail to be stripped of franchise, says Grant Shapps". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Northern rail to be stripped of franchise, says Grant Shapps". The Guardian. 2 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Northern rail to be renationalised – and some Beeching closures could reopen". The Guardian. 27 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Ministers set to renationalise failed Northern rail franchise". Financial Times. 28 January 2020.
  21. ^ "Rail firm Northern to be put into public ownership". BBC News. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  22. ^ "Customer Information". Northern OLR Holdings. 30 January 2020. Archived from the original on 29 January 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020. Q: What are Northern Trains Limited's plans for the franchise? Our initial priority is to continue to stabilise performance across the region and restore reliability for customers. We will then explore opportunities to improve the experience for customers.
  23. ^ "Coronavirus: Rail franchise agreements suspended to avoid company collapses". Sky News. 23 March 2020. Archived from the original on 27 May 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  24. ^ Osborne, Samuel (27 December 2021). "COVID-19: Christmas travel disruption as Omicron hits rail and airline staffing". news.sky.com.
  25. ^ "Transport Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 4 June 2020". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 23 June 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  26. ^ Paton, Graeme. "Coronavirus: facemask plans mired in confusion". The Times. Archived from the original on 21 June 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  27. ^ a b c d e f "Northern's commitment to transformation". Modern Railways. No. 893. Stamford: Key Publishing. February 2023. pp. 62–67.
  28. ^ "Rail strike: RMT union votes for national action". BBC News. 24 May 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  29. ^ "The dates of the train, Tube and bus strikes this week, and how services will be affected". inews.co.uk. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  30. ^ Stubbings, David. "When are the rail strikes? Dates and lines affected in the Black Country and Staffordshire". www.expressandstar.com. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  31. ^ Clark, Kevin (13 June 2022). "RAIL STRIKE: Northern Rail urges customers NOT to travel during week of RMT action". sunderlandecho.com.
  32. ^ "Northern Trains – Timetables". Northern. Retrieved 11 December 2022.
  33. ^ "Work begins on construction of new station at Headbolt Lane in Kirkby". Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. 9 March 2022. Retrieved 13 December 2022.
  34. ^ Halle-Richards, Sophie (16 July 2022). "Greater Manchester town with gridlocked traffic and trains only twice a week". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  35. ^ Wilkinson, Damon (3 December 2022). "Greater Manchester 'ghost station' has only ONE passenger a week". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  36. ^ "Ghost train in reverse gear". Manchester Evening News. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  37. ^ Kirby, Dean (30 April 2013). "'We won't give up the ghost' on Denton station with 30 passengers a year". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  38. ^ "New surveys launched in bid to help improve local rail connections". Quest Media Network. Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  39. ^ "The ghost trains of northern England that refuse to die". The Independent. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  40. ^ "Brigg rail service from Sheffield to Cleethorpes makes comeback after outcry". GrimsbyLive. 24 October 2022. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
  41. ^ "Northern finishes with Dusty Bins". Railways Illustrated. July 2020. p. 16.
  42. ^ a b "Northern and East Midlands Railway Class 153 fleets stood down". Rail Express. No. February 2022. p. 26.
  43. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Train Types | Northern". www.northernrailway.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  44. ^ "Northern looks to the future". Modern Railways. 20 May 2021. Archived from the original on 3 April 2022.
  45. ^ "Hunslet has had enough of 'misery line' battles". Birmingham Post. 23 March 1994. p. 3. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  46. ^ "Class 769 fleets". TODAY'S RAILWAYS UK. No. 242. April 2022. p. 35.
  47. ^ "Class 323 EMUs to remain in traffic with Northern". Rail. No. 886. 28 August 2019. p. 30.
  48. ^ "First refurbished Class 323 for Northern". Railways Illustrated. January 2020. p. 9.
  49. ^ "Class 323s to remain with Northern in favour of 319s". Today's Railways UK. No. 214. October 2019. p. 69.
  50. ^ "More 156s for Northern". Modern Railways. No. 870. March 2021. p. 87.
  51. ^ a b "Fleet Analysis (Northern)". Railways Illustrated. No. 230. April 2022. p. 50.
  52. ^ "Units (Class 156 'Super Sprinter')". Rail Express. No. 319. December 2022. P. 27.
  53. ^ "Northern to retain 323s". Modern Railways. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  54. ^ "West Midlands Trains turns back the clock with retro repaint for Class 323". Today's Railways Uk. No. 252. February 2023. p. 55.
  55. ^ "Class 323 EMUs to remain in traffic with Northern". Rail. No. 886. August 2019. p. 30.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Operator of Northern franchise
2020 -
Succeeded by
Incumbent