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Rail journeys across the north of England and Scotland will undergo the biggest transformation in decades, thanks to an unprecedented package of improvements being delivered in new franchise deals, the government announced today.More than 500 brand-new carriages, the removal of the outdated and unpopular Pacer trains, room for 40,000 extra passengers at the busiest times, and more than 2,000 extra services a week will all be delivered.

The government has announced it intends to award the Northern franchise to Arriva Rail North, and the TransPennine Express franchise to First Trans Pennine Express.Together they will oversee a massive £1.2 billion boost to rail services with brand-new modern trains, more seats, more services and a host of improvements to deliver a modern, 21st century passenger experience – as well as playing a vital role in bringing the Northern Powerhouse to life.
As part of the government’s commitment to ensure local passengers are at the heart of the rail network and devolve power to those that know their economies and customers best, the franchises will be jointly managed from Leeds by the Department for Transport and Rail North Limited – which represents 29 local authorities across the north.