TransPennine Express (Pre 2023) - A

TransPennine Express (Pre 2023) - A
TransPennine Express (TPE), legally First TransPennine Express Limited, was a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup that operated the TransPennine Express franchise. It ran regional and inter-city rail services between the major cities and towns of Northern England and Scotland.
The franchise operated almost all its services to and through Manchester covering three main routes. The service provided rail links for major towns and cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, York, Scarborough, Cleethorpes, Middlesbrough and Newcastle upon Tyne.
TPE ran trains 24 hours a day, including through New Year's Eve night. TPE trains ran between York, Leeds and Manchester Airport at least every three hours every night of the week. The franchise operated across the West Coast Main Line, Huddersfield Line, East Coast Main Line and part of the Tees Valley line.
The majority of TPE's rolling stock was procured during the late 2010s under Project Nova. These consist of the Nova 1 (Class 802) BMU trainsets, the Nova 2 Class 397 CAF Civity EMUs, and the Nova 3 Mark 5A fixed-formation carriages paired with Class 68 diesel locomotives.
These replaced older rolling stock, such as the Bombardier Turbostar 170/3s and Siemens Desiro 350/4s, as well as some of their Siemens Desiro 185s, although these were still used on some routes. TPE had facilitated an operational shift towards more inter-city style services, although the commuter market remains important.
In May 2023, following a period of poor performance, it was announced that the company's contract would not be renewed and the service taken over by government-owned operator of last resort TransPennine Trains on 28 May 2023, who have continued trading under the TransPennine Express name. The decision to bring the service under the control of the operator of last resort was described as temporary, and it is said to be the UK government’s intention that the franchise will be privatised again.
TransPennine Express History
The TransPennine Express brand was launched in the early 1990s by British Rail's Regional Railways sector. It became part of Regional Railways North East and, on 2 March 1997, was privatised along with the majority of British Rail. Its first private sector operator, Northern Spirit, as well as its successor, Arriva Trains Northern, opted to maintain the brand.
In 2000, the Strategic Rail Authority announced that it planned to reorganise the North West Regional Railways and Regional Railways North East franchises operated by First North Western and Arriva Trains Northern. A TransPennine Express franchise would be created for the long-distance regional services, the remaining services being operated by a new Northern franchise.
In July 2003, the TransPennine franchise was awarded to a joint venture between FirstGroup and Keolis, and the services operated by Arriva Trains Northern and First North Western were transferred to First TransPennine Express on 1 February 2004. On 11 November 2007, the services from the Manchester station group to Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central via the West Coast Main Line formerly operated by Virgin CrossCountry were transferred to First TransPennine Express.
In August 2014, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced FirstGroup, Keolis/Go-Ahead and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the next franchise. During December 2015, FirstGroup was awarded the franchise of TransPennine Express. The effective start date of the new franchise was 1 April 2016 and it was scheduled to run until 31 March 2023, with an option to extend for two years. The company remained First TransPennine Express, but branded the services as TransPennine Express.
As part of a recasting of the franchise map by the DfT, services from Manchester Airport to Blackpool North; Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness; and Oxenholme Lake District to Windermere were transferred to the Northern franchise on 1 April 2016.
In May 2021, following various COVID-19 emergency measures, the company was given a direct award contract by the DfT running until 28 May 2023.
TransPennine Express was one of several train operators impacted by the 2022–2023 United Kingdom railway strikes, which were the first national rail strikes in the UK for three decades.Its workers were amongst those who are participating in industrial action due to a dispute over pay and working conditions.
On 11 May 2023, after months of continued cancellations and service disruptions, the DfT announced that the company's contract would not be renewed with TPE ceasing operations on 28 May 2023. Instead, the service was taken over by operator of last resort TransPennine Trains.
TransPennine Express Services
The TransPennine Express routes were subdivided into three operations:
  • North Route, which includes all routes that pass through the core section between Manchester station group and Leeds.
  • Anglo-Scottish Route, which consists of services on the West Coast Main Line.
  • South Route, which includes services running on the Hope Valley line and the South Humberside Main Line.
As of December 2022, TransPennine Express operated the following services off-peak, seven days a week:
TransPennine Express North Route
  • Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle   1 tph
Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham
  • Liverpool Lime Street to Hull   1 tph
Lea Green, Manchester Victoria, Stalybridge, Huddersfield, Leeds, Selby, Brough
  • Manchester Airport to Saltburn   1 tph
Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Thirsk, Northallerton, Yarm, Thornaby, Middlesbrough, Redcar Central
  • Manchester Piccadilly to Newcastle   1 tp2h
Stalybridge, Greenfield, Marsden, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Northallerton, Darlington, Durham, Chester-le-Street
Alternates with services from Manchester Piccadilly to Scarborough.
  • Manchester Piccadilly to Scarborough   1 tp2h
Stalybridge, Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, York, Malton, Seamer
Alternates with services from Manchester Piccadilly to Newcastle and from York to Scarborough.
  • York to Scarborough   1 tp2h
Malton, Seamer
Alternates with services from Manchester Piccadilly to Scarborough.
  • Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield   1 tph
Stalybridge, Mossley, Greenfield, Marsden, Slaithwaite
  • Huddersfield to Leeds   1 tph
Deighton, Mirfield, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, Batley, Morley, Cottingley
  • Newcastle to Edinburgh Waverley   6 tpd
Morpeth, Alnmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Reston, Dunbar
2 trains per day run between Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh Waverley.
TransPennine Express South Route
  • Liverpool Lime Street to Cleethorpes   1 tph
Liverpool South Parkway, Warrington Central, Birchwood, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Sheffield, Meadowhall, Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Barnetby, Habrough, Grimsby Town
TransPennine Express Anglo-Scottish Route
  • Manchester Airport to Glasgow Central   1 tp2h
Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith North Lakes, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Motherwell
1 tpd runs between Preston and Glasgow Central only.
Alternates with services to Edinburgh Waverley, see below.
  • Manchester Airport to Edinburgh Waverley   1 tp2h
Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District, Penrith North Lakes, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Haymarket[a]
Alternates with services to Glasgow Central, see above.
  • Liverpool Lime Street to Glasgow Central   2 tpd
St Helens Central, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster Oxenholme Lake District, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Motherwell (1 tpd)
^ Served to pick up only southbound and set down only northbound
TransPennine Express Overview
TransPennine Express Franchise(s): TransPennine Express
1 April 2016 – 28 May 2023
Main Route(s): North West England, Yorkshire and the Humber, North East England, Scotland
TransPennine Express Fleet Size:
14 × Class 68 locomotives + 66 Mark 5A coaches (forming 13 loco-hauled Nova 3 sets)
51 × Class 185 Desiro
12 × Class 397 Civity (Nova 2)
19 × Class 802 AT300 (Nova 1)
TransPennine Express Stations Operated: 19
TransPennine Express Parent Company: FirstGroup
TransPennine Express Reporting Mark; TP
TransPennine Express Predecessor: First TransPennine Express
TransPennine Express Successor: TransPennine Trains trading as TransPennine Express
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