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Rail in the North: Rolling Stock

Volume 590: debated on Thursday 8 January 2015

My Department has reached agreement with TransPennine Express and Northern Rail on plans to maintain and increase capacity on key routes and these plans will offer extra rolling stock for the north of England.

Rail services across the north are vital for passengers and for the economy. By helping people access work and leisure more easily, we are securing long-term economic growth across the region.

That is why my Department has worked hard with Northern and TransPennine Express to reach an agreement which means that existing rail services will continue, from May 2015. This follows a decision by rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook to move Class 170 diesel trains running on the Northern and TransPennine Express routes to the Chiltern franchise.

In addition, the Department for Transport has taken this opportunity to secure benefits for passengers and has reached agreement with the operators of the two franchises to offer more carriages and seats, increasing capacity on a number of routes in the North, including between Blackpool and Manchester and into and out of Sheffield in the peaks.

Northern Rail will also be increasing capacity on the Cumbrian coast line and will be finalising details on this shortly. I will make a further statement on this in due course.