Northern Trains - Northern Trains Background - E

Northern Trains - E
Northern Trains Background
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.
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. Later in 2018 performance continued to suffer, with many passengers protesting and a reduced service on Saturdays due to industrial action.
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.
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".
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.
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".
On 29 January 2020, the DfT announced its decision to terminate Arriva Rail North as operator of the franchise, to be taken over by the DfT's operator of last resort.
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 with the stated objective to "stabilise performance and restore reliability for passengers".
Northern Trains Overview
Northern Trains Franchise(s): Northern
Northern Trains Main Region(s):
North East
North West
Yorkshire and the Humber
Northern Trains Other Region(s):
East Midlands
West Midlands
Northern Trains Fleet Size: 345
Northern Trains Stations Called At: 474
Northern Trains Parent Company: DfT OLR Holdings
Northern Trains Headquarters: York
Northern Trains Reporting Mark: NT
Northern Trains Dates of Operation: 1 March 2020 – 1 March 2025
Northern Trains Predecessor: Arriva Rail North
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