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Arriva awarded Calder Valley rail franchise

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The £1m Northern Rail franchise is being awarded to Arriva Rail North with a commitment of long needed investment for our Calder Valley route, starting April 2016.

We are promised the phasing out of Pacer trains, new services and routes, better stations, smart ticketing, free wifi and new air-conditioned carriages.

The Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Sustainable Transport Group is pleased with the awarding of the next Northern rail franchise to Arriva Rail North limited.

Group Chair Nina Smith welcomed the extra investment that Arriva, owned by German state Railways DB, has promised to deliver. As well as the headline news of 500 brand new carriages and others refurbished across the network, including the replacement of the unsuitable Pacer trains by 2020, there will be a number of very welcome improvements to train services on the Calder Valley route.

These are new direct services to Manchester Airport, Warrington, Chester and Southport, additional services to Manchester and Bradford, a "significantly enhanced evening service", and an improved Sunday service.

Nina Smith told the HebWeb that the Sustainable Transport Group had been very active during the consultation period, making submissions on needed improvements to both Government and the bidders, and meeting with Arriva and the other bidders to stress the improvements needed.

Nina Smith, who is also Chair of the Yorkshire branch of the rail lobby group Railfuture, said it was clear that Arriva had listened to the Sustainable Transport Group and to other Rail User groups across the north of England.

The Group will continue to engage with Arriva, initially regarding the exact nature of improved evening and Sunday services. She added that she hoped that the new rolling stock will be adequate to make overcrowding history, and to greatly improve reliability.

The Sustainable Transport Group welcomes new members who want to be involved in the process of engaging with the new train operator. Contact: Nina Smith 07984 670331 or by email.

See also

HebWeb Forum: New Train Services Under The New Franchise (Dec 2015)