William Wragg – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by William Wragg on 2016-03-24.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what provisions his Department has put in place to improve rolling stock as part of the rail franchise package for the North West.

Andrew Jones

The new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises commenced on the 1st April. By the end of 2019, they will have introduced significant improvements in Rolling Stock.

The Northern franchise will deliver:-

  • 281 new carriages including 55 new Diesel and 43 new Electric trains – the first ever new trains specified for the Northern franchise
  • Additional diesel units cascaded from other franchises – refurbished to ‘as new’ standard
  • Removal of all Pacer trains by October 2019
  • All retained trains will be refurbished as new including Wi-Fi, media servers, passenger information systems, CCTV and accessible toilets with baby-change facilities

This means that 30% of this expanded fleet will be new and will operate 2000 more services per week –a 12% increase. The additional trains will provide a 37% increase in morning peak capacity into the North’s 5 major cities by December 2019.

The TransPennine franchise will deliver:-

  • 220 new carriages
  • All existing trains will be refurbished as new including Wi-Fi, additional power sockets, and real-time passenger information systems

This means that 70% of fleet is new, the fleet size increases by two-thirds, provides 13million more seats, an 80% increase in morning peak seats by the end of 2019.

These delivery plans as bid by the two operators during the Invitation to Tender process have been contracted within the franchise agreements.