Northern (train operating company)
Northern is a train operating company in Northern England. A subsidiary of Arriva UK Trains, it began operating the Northern franchise on 1 April 2016 and inherited units from the previous operator Northern Rail.
1 April 2016 – 31 March 2025
|Main Region(s)||North West|
Yorkshire and the Humber
|Other Region(s)||East Midlands|
|Fleet size||391 units[nb 1]|
|Stations called at||528|
|Parent company||Arriva UK Trains|
Central to franchise commitments will be the introduction of 101 new-built units – the Class 195 and 331. These will be the first new-build trains for the Northern franchise since the introduction of the Class 333 in 2000 and the new rolling stock will enable all 102 Pacer trains currently in service with Northern to be retired by the end of 2019. Additionally, it is planned that a franchise sub-brand, known as Northern Connect, will provide inter-urban services between major cities and towns in Northern England, as well as serving a number of major commuting stations.
However since the franchise began in April 2016, it has been beset by falling punctuality, poor customer service, regular industrial action by staff and delays in introducing new rolling stock due to issues encountered during testing. Despite passenger growth at the vast majority of train operating companies in the United Kingdom and the Northern franchise operating more services[nb 2], the number of passengers carried since the franchise commenced in 2016 has declined and has been attributed to worsening performance. The franchise will run to 2025 with an option for an additional year which is dependent on performance.
In August 2014, the Department for Transport announced that Abellio, Arriva and Govia had been shortlisted to bid for the next Northern franchise. The franchise was awarded to Arriva in December 2015.
In May 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation into the transport department's decision to award the Northern network to Arriva. Arriva operated the CrossCountry franchise and owned many bus companies in the Northern trains operating area in which 'a significant overlap occurs without competition from other service providers.'
In April 2018, a penalty fare scheme under the Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 2018 commenced to encourage passengers to purchase a ticket before boarding trains. Although this scheme is not wholly enforced across the Northern network, passengers are liable to paying a £20 penalty fare if they are deemed to have travelled without a valid ticket and had the ability to purchase a ticket prior to boarding the train at the station of origin. Customers who need to purchase a ticket at the station of origin with cash may do so by collecting a 'Promise to Pay' notice prior to boarding from a ticket machine as these are not capable of accepting cash. These notices can then be exchanged with the on-board conductor or with a member of railway staff at the destination station for a paid ticket. Section 6 of the Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 2018 also covers a number of scenarios that prohibit penalty fares being issued such 'no facilities in operation for the sale of a travel ticket for that passenger’s journey'.
May 2018 timetable recastEdit
The franchise was widely criticised for implementing a new timetable in May 2018 which resulted in widespread delays and cancellations. Network Rail and Northern announced an independent inquiry to learn lessons and identify route alterations in readiness for the next timetable change in December 2018. In an attempt to counter operational problems, Northern implemented an emergency timetable on 4 June 2018 – it stemmed some delays and cancellations but was still problematic compared with performance before the timetable change.
Punctuality was particularly bad in the North West due to the delay in the Blackpool-Preston electrification scheme and the number of trains per hour through Manchester increased with more services utilising the Ordsall Chord which became operational in December 2017. Network Rail only informed train operating companies in January 2018 that the electrification scheme would be delayed until November – Northern had planned for the scheme to be complete as scheduled by May and had trained drivers to operate new routes with electric rolling stock. Consequently, an alternative timetable had to be drafted up and many train drivers were not sufficiently trained to drive the existing diesel rolling stock which resulted in widespread cancellations. Furthermore, the additional services through the Manchester corridor resulted in increased congestion and which had a knock-on effect. Performance statistics published by the Office of Rail and Road in October 2018 showed that from April to June 2018, the franchise recorded the lowest PPM – measured by train service departing within 5 minutes of its scheduled time – of any quarter since punctuality records began on the Northern franchise in 2009.
Performance towards the latter half of the 2018 continued to be poor with many passengers protesting and the network beset by a reduced service on Saturdays due to industrial action. In October 2018 it was announced that Manchester Oxford Road station, the busiest station managed by Northern with over 8 million passengers, was the most delayed station in the United Kingdom in 2018 – this was attributed to the chaos following the May 2018 timetable. Between 14 October and 10 November 2018, Northern recorded the worst monthly performance on record with more trains late than on time. Less than 40% of services arrived on time (defined as services arriving within 59 seconds of the planned arrival time) and only 71.9% departed within 5 minutes of the scheduled departure time.
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. Both have pushed the franchise into a loss-making entity and face a £282 million government subsidy shortfall which was due to be passed onto the franchise. Since the franchise commenced in April 2016 and despite an increase of 1,500 more weekly services transferred to Northern's operational remit, Northern has achieved no growth in passenger numbers. Between April and June 2018, the franchise suffered a 2.4% decline in passenger numbers compared with the previous year. Of the twenty two train operating companies in the United Kingdom to record a fall in passengers, Northern were one of only three franchises to record an annual drop in passenger numbers in 2017–18.
Statistics published in December 2018 showed that between April 2017 and March 2018, many Northern managed stations recorded a drop in passengers – this period did not include the May 2018 timetable change or increased level of Saturday strikes by conductors. The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, also reported that the failing railways in the region was resulting in increased congestion on the roads and Metrolink system as passengers were abandoning the rail service due to increased level of unreliability in the area since May 2018. To counter continuing poor performance and encourage improved punctuality, the window for which passengers can claim compensation for delayed services was reduced from 30 minutes to 15 minutes from 17 December 2018.
Minor changes were implemented in the December 2018 timetable change. However Northern stated they did not expect a reliable service to be implemented until the May 2019 timetable change; it is expected by this time there will be new rolling stock in service with the Class 195 and Class 331, newly electrified lines operational which alleviates the shortage of diesel rolling stock in the Northern fleet and most notably operational flaws with the May 2018 timetable ironed out as part of better optimised timetable in May 2019.
Northern took over all the services operated by Northern Rail (also branded Northern) on 1 April 2016 and on the same date, services between Manchester Airport and Blackpool North, Manchester Airport and Barrow in Furness and Oxenholme to Windermere from First TransPennine Express.
Northern took over responsibility for all the stations managed by Northern Rail, as well as Arnside, Barrow-in-Furness, Birchwood, Burneside, Carnforth, Grange-over-Sands, Kendal, Staveley, Ulverston, Warrington Central and Windermere from First TransPennine Express. Northern will staff some currently unstaffed stations. The first stations to be staffed will be Baildon and Ben Rhydding, both in West Yorkshire.
Northern has committed to introducing free Wi-Fi on trains, and new ticketing options including the ability for customers to print their own tickets. Arriva will provide new services across the North of England.
The Cleethorpes to Barton-on-Humber service will transfer to East Midlands Railway in August 2019. The transfer will include Barrow Haven, Barton upon Humber, Goxhill, Great Coates, Grimsby Docks, Habrough, Healing, New Clee, New Holland, Stallingborough, Thornton Abbey and Ulceby stations.
On 1 July 2016, the business was divided into four regions, each headed up by a regional director:
- Central – regional director based in Manchester
- East – regional director based in Leeds
- North East – regional director based in Newcastle upon Tyne
- West – regional director based in Preston
Table of off-peak servicesEdit
Below is a list of off-peak services, per the 20 May – 8 December 2018 timetables. It has been slightly simplified due to some routes' irregular service pattern. Several routes which Northern run only have limited or peak service and are omitted.
|Liverpool to Wigan and Blackpool|
|Liverpool Lime Street to Wigan North Western||2||Edge Hill, Wavertree Technology Park, Broad Green, Roby, Huyton, Prescot, Eccleston Park, Thatto Heath, St Helens Central, Garswood and Bryn|
|Liverpool Lime Street to Blackpool North||1||Huyton, St Helens Central, Wigan North Western, Euxton, Leyland, Preston, Kirkham & Wesham, Poulton-le-Fylde|
|Liverpool to Warrington and Manchester|
|Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Airport||1||Liverpool South Parkway, Warrington Central, Birchwood, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly and Mauldeth Road|
some trains call at East Didsbury.
|Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Oxford Road||1||Mossley Hill, West Allerton, Liverpool South Parkway, Hough Green, Widnes, Warrington Central, Padgate, Birchwood, Glazebrook, Irlam, Flixton, Chassen Road (1tp2h), Urmston and Deansgate|
|1||Edge Hill, Mossley Hill, West Allerton, Liverpool South Parkway, Hunts Cross, Halewood, Hough Green, Widnes, Sankey for Penketh, Warrington Central, Birchwood, Irlam, Urmston, Humphrey Park (1tp2h), Trafford Park (1tp2h) and Deansgate|
|Liverpool Lime Street to Warrington Bank Quay||1||Edge Hill, Wavertree Technology Park, Broad Green, Roby, Huyton, Whiston, Rainhill, Lea Green, St Helens Junction and Earlestown|
|Liverpool Lime Street to Crewe||1||Edge Hill, Wavertree Technology Park, Broad Green, Roby, Huyton, Whiston, Rainhill, Lea Green, St Helens Junction, Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows, Patricroft, Eccles, Deansgate, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Mauldeth Road, Burnage, East Didsbury, Gatley, Heald Green, Manchester Airport, Styal, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Holmes Chapel and Sandbach|
|WCML Manchester Lines|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Crewe||1||Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Handforth, Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Chelford, Goostrey, Holmes Chapel and Sandbach|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke-on-Trent||1||Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Bramhall, Poynton, Adlington, Prestbury, Macclesfield, Congleton and Kidsgrove|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Chester||1||Stockport, Navigation Road, Altrincham, Hale, Ashley, Mobberley, Knutsford, Plumley, Lostock Gralam, Northwich, Greenbank, Cuddington, Delamere and Mouldsworth|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Buxton||1||Stockport, Davenport, Woodsmoor, Hazel Grove, Disley, New Mills Newtown, Whaley Bridge and Chapel-en-le-Frith|
|1||Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Davenport, Woodsmoor, Hazel Grove, Middlewood (1tp2h), Disley, New Mills Newtown, Furness Vale, Whaley Bridge, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Dove Holes|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Hazel Grove||1||Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Davenport and Woodsmoor|
|Glossop and Hope Valley Lines|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Hadfield||2||Ashburys, Guide Bridge, Flowery Field, Newton for Hyde, Godley, Hattersley, Broadbottom, Dinting and Glossop|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Rose Hill Marple||2||Gorton, Fairfield (1tph), Guide Bridge, Hyde North (1tph), Hyde Central, Woodley and Romiley|
|Manchester Piccadilly to New Mills Central||1||Ashburys, Belle Vue (irregular), Ryder Brow, Reddish North, Brinnington, Bredbury, Romiley, Marple and Strines (1tp2h)|
|Manchester Piccadilly to Sheffield||1||Reddish North, Brinnington, Bredbury, Romiley, Marple, New Mills Central, Chinley, Edale, Hope, Bamford, Hathersage, Grindleford and Dore & Totley|
|Manchester to Wigan and Preston|
|Manchester Airport to Preston||1||Heald Green, Gatley, East Didsbury, Burnage,Mauldeth Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Horwich Parkway, Chorley and Buckshaw Parkway|
some trains extend to/from Barrow-in-Furness, see below. East Didsbury is served only by southbound trains. Gatley and Burnage are served only by northbound trains. Mauldeth Road served irregularly.
|Manchester Piccadilly to Blackpool North||1||Manchester Oxford Road, Deansgate, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Lostock, Horwich Parkway, Chorley, Buckshaw Parkway, Leyland, Preston and Poulton-le-Fylde|
|Manchester Victoria to Buckshaw Parkway||1||Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Lostock, Horwich Parkway, Blackrod, Adlington and Chorley|
|Manchester Airport to Blackpool North||1||Heald Green, Gatley, East Didsbury, Burnage, Mauldeth Road, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Wigan North Western, Leyland, Preston, Kirkham & Wesham, Poulton-le-Flyde and Layton|
Gatley and Burnage are served only by southbound trains. East Didsbury is served only by northbound trains. Mauldeth Road served irregularly.
|Alderley Edge to Wigan North Western||1||Wilmslow, Handforth, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, Heaton Chapel, Levenshulme, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Westhoughton and Hindley.|
|Stalybridge to Wigan North Western||1||Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Kearsley, Farnworth, Moses Gate, Bolton, Westhoughton and Hindley|
|Stalybridge to Manchester Victoria||1||Ashton-under-Lyne|
|Manchester Victoria to Kirkby||1||Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Swinton, Moorside, Walkden, Atherton, Hag Fold, Daisy Hill, Hindley, Wigan Wallgate, Pemberton, Orrell, Upholland and Rainford|
|Manchester to Blackburn|
|Rochdale to Blackburn (and Clitheroe)||2||Castleton, Mills Hill, Moston, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Bolton, Hall I' Th' Wood, Bromley Cross, Entwistle and Darwen|
1tph extends to/from Clitheroe, calling at Ramsgreave & Wilpshire, Langho and Whalley
|Blackburn to Southport||1||Accrington, Rose Grove, Burnley Manchester Road, Todmorden, Littleborough, Smithy Bridge, Rochdale, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Swinton, Walkden, Atherton, Daisy Hill, Hindley, Wigan Wallgate, Gathurst, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Hoscar (irregular), Burscough Bridge, New Lane (irregular), Bescar Lane (irregular) and Meols Cop|
|Leeds to Southport||1||Cottingley, Morley, Dewsbury, Mirfield, Brighouse, Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Walsden, Littleborough, Smithy Bridge, Rochdale, Manchester Victoria, Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Walkden, Atherton, Daisy Hill, Wigan Wallgate, Gathurst, Appley Bridge, Parbold, Burscough Bridge and Meols Cop|
|Wakefield Kirkgate to Huddersfield||1||Mirfield, Deighton|
|Leeds to Preston||1||New Pudsey, Bradford Interchange, Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, Burnley Manchester Road, Accrington and Blackburn|
|Leeds to Manchester Victoria||2||Bramley, New Pudsey, Bradford Interchange, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Rochdale, Castleton (1tph), Mills Hill (1tph) and Moston (1tph)|
|Leeds to Huddersfield||1||Bramley, New Pudsey, Bradford Interchange, Low Moor, Halifax and Brighouse|
|Leeds to Bradford Forster Square||2||Kirkstall Forge, Apperley Bridge, Shipley and Frizinghall|
|Leeds to Ilkley||2||Guiseley, Menston, Burley-in-Wharfedale and Ben Rhydding|
|Bradford Forster Square to Ilkley||2||Frizinghall, Shipley, Baildon, Guiseley, Menston, Burley-in-Wharfdale and Ben Rhydding|
|Leeds to Skipton||2||Kirkstall Forge (limited), Apperley Bridge (limited), Shipley, Saltaire, Bingley, Crossflatts, Keighley, Steeton & Silsden, Cononley|
|Bradford Forster Square to Skipton||2||Frizinghall, Shipley, Saltaire, Bingley, Crossflats, Keighley, Steeton & Silsden and Cononley|
|'Little' North Western|
|Leeds to Lancaster||0.5||Shipley, Bingley, Keighley, Skipton, Gargrave, Hellifield, Long Preston, Giggleswick, Clapham, Bentham, Wennington and Carnforth|
some trains continue to Bare Lane and Morecambe, providing additional service
|Lancaster to Morecambe||1||Bare Lane. 1 train per day extends to/from Heysham Port.|
Hourly service supplimented/modified by additional trains from Leeds.
|Leeds to Carlisle||0.5||Shipley, Bingley, Keighley, Skipton, Gargrave (irregular), Hellifield, Long Preston (irregular), Settle, Horton in Ribblesdale, Ribblehead, Dent, Garsdale, Kirkby Stephen, Appleby, Langwathby, Lazonby & Kirkoswald and Armathwaite|
|Leeds to Knaresborough (and York)||2||Burley Park, Headingley, Horsforth, Weeton, Pannal, Hornbeam Park, Harrogate and Starbeck.|
1tph extends to/from York, calling at Cattal, Hammerton and Poppleton
|Leeds to Knottingley||1||Woodlesford, Castleford, Glasshoughton and Pontefract Monkhill. 3tpd are extended to and from Goole calling at Whitley Bridge, Hensall, Snaith and Rawcliffe.|
|1||Wakefield Westgate, Wakefield Kirkgate, Streethouse, Featherstone, Pontefract Tanshelf and Pontefract Monkhill|
|Leeds to Doncaster||1||Outwood, Wakefield Westgate, Sandal & Agbrigg, Fitzwilliam, South Elmsall, Adwick and Bentley|
|Leeds to Sheffield||1||Outwood, Wakefield Westgate, Sandal & Agbrigg, Fitzwilliam, Moorthorpe, Thurnscoe, Goldthorpe, Bolton-upon-Dearne, Swinton, Rotherham Central and Meadowhall|
|Huddersfield to Sheffield||1||Lockwood, Berry Brow, Honley, Brockholes, Stocksmoor, Shepley, Denby Dale, Penistone, Silkstone Common, Dodworth, Barnsley, Wombwell, Elsecar, Chapeltown and Meadowhall, several services extended to Lincoln Central (3 trains per day) via Worksop (on Sundays several services are extended to Lincoln)|
|Leeds to Sheffield||1||Woodlesford, Castleford, Normanton, Wakefield Kirkgate, Darton, Barnsley, Wombwell, Elsecar, Chapletown and Meadowhall.|
|Leeds to Nottingham||1||Wakefield Kirkgate, Barnsley, Meadowhall, Sheffield, Dronfield, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Langley Mill and Ilkeston.|
|Leeds to Lincoln Central||1||Wakefield Kirkgate, Barnsley, Meadowhall, Sheffield, Darnall, Woodhouse, Kiveton Bridge, Kiveton Park, Shireoaks, Worksop, Retford, Gainsborough Lea Road and Saxilby|
|York and Selby Lines and Dearne Valley Line.|
|Leeds to York||1||Cross Gates, Garforth, East Garforth, Micklefield, Church Fenton and Ulleskelf (irregular).|
|Leeds to Selby||1||Cross Gates, Garforth, East Garforth, Micklefield and South Milford|
|York to Hull||0.5||Ulleskelf (irregular), Church Fenton, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Selby, Howden, Gilberdyke and Brough|
|0.5||Selby, Howden, Gilberdyke and Brough|
|York to Sheffield via Pontefract Baghill||–||Ulleskelf, Church Fenton, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Pontefract Baghill, Moorthorpe, Swinton, Rotherham Central and Meadowhall.|
Limited service, only 4tpd.
|Sheffield to Humberside|
|Sheffield to Adwick||1||Meadowhall, Rotherham Central, Swinton, Mexborough, Conisbrough, Doncaster, Bentley|
|Sheffield to Hull||1||Meadowhall, Rotherham Central, Swinton, Mexborough, Conisbrough, Doncaster, Kirk Sandall, Hatfield & Stainforth, Thorne North, Goole, Saltmarshe (irregular), Gilberdyke, Broomfleet (irregular), Brough, Ferriby and Hessle|
|Sheffield to Bridlington||1||Meadowhall, Doncaster, Goole, Brough, Hull, Cottingham, Beverley, Arram (limited), Hutton Cranswick, Driffield and Nafferton|
|Hull to Bridlington (and Scarborough)||1||Cottingham, Beverley, Hutton Cranswick (irregular) and Driffield|
1tp2h extends to Scarborough, calling at Bempton, Hunmanby, Filey and Seamer
|Doncaster to Scunthorpe||1||Kirk Sandall, Hatfield & Stainforth, Thorne South, Crowle and Althorpe|
|Sheffield to Cleethorpes||–||Darnall, Kiveton Bridge, Kiveton Park, Shireoaks, Worksop, Retford, Gainsborough Central, Kirton Lindsey, Brigg, Barnetby, Habrough and Grimsby Town.|
Limited service, only 4tpd on Saturdays only.
|Barton-on-Humber to Cleethorpes||0.5||Barrow Haven, New Holland, Goxhill, Thornton Abbey, Ulceby, Habrough, Stallingborough, Healing, Great Coates, Grimsby Town, Grimsby Docks and New Clee|
|Lancashire & Cumbria Coast|
|Preston to Colne||1||Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge, Pleasington, Cherry Tree, Mill Hill, Blackburn, Rishton, Church & Oswaldtwistle, Accrington, Huncoat, Hapton, Rose Grove, Burnley Barracks, Burnley Central, Brierfield and Nelson|
|Preston to Ormskirk||1||Croston, Rufford and Burscough Junction|
|Preston to Blackpool South||1||Kirkham & Wesham, Moss Side, Lytham, Ansdell & Fairhaven, St Annes-on-the-Sea, Squires Gate and Blackpool Pleasure Beach|
|Lancaster to Barrow-in-Furness||1||Carnforth, Silverdale (irregular), Arnside, Grange-over-Sands, Kents Bank (irregular), Cark (irregular), Ulverston and Dalton (irregular), Roose (irregular)|
Some trains extend to/from Manchester Airport via Preston, see above. Some trains extend to/from Carlisle, see below
|Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle||1||Askam, Kirkby-in-Furness, Foxfield, Green Road, Millom, Silecroft, Bootle, Ravenglass, Drigg, Seascale, Sellafield, St Bees, Corkickle, Whitehaven, Parton, Harrington, Workington, Flimby, Maryport, Aspatria, Wigton and Dalston|
Some trains extend to/from Lancaster, see above
|Oxenholme Lake District to Windermere||1||Kendal, Burneside and Staveley|
some trains extend to/from Lancaster, Preston or Manchester Piccadilly
|Newcastle to Morpeth||1||Manors and Cramlington|
|Tyne Valley, Durham Coast and Esk Valley Lines|
|Carlisle to Newcastle||1||Wetheral (1tp2h), Brampton (1tp2h), Haltwhistle, Bardon Mill (1tp2h), Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Prudhoe and MetroCentre |
trains either serve Wetheral and Brampton, or Bardon Mill
|Metrocentre to Newcastle||1||Dunston|
|Hexham to Nunthorpe||1||Corbridge, Riding Mill, Stocksfield, Prudhoe, Wylam, Blaydon, MetroCentre, Newcastle, Heworth, Sunderland, Seaham, Hartlepool, Seaton Carew, Billingham, Stockton, Thornaby, Middlesbrough, James Cook, Marton and Gypsy Lane|
Some trains terminate at Middlesbrough, with Whitby services providing the hourly Middlesbrough-Nunthorpe service. Other trains extend to Battersby or Danby
|Middlesbrough to Whitby||–||James Cook, Marton, Gypsy Lane, Nunthorpe, Great Ayton, Battersby, Kildale, Commondale, Castleton Moor, Danby, Lealholm, Glaisdale, Egton, Grosmont, Sleights and Ruswarp|
4 trains run each day, with an extra one in summer
|Tees Valley Line|
|Saltburn to Darlington (and Bishop Auckland)||2||Marske, Longbeck, Redcar East, Redcar Central, South Bank (1tph), Middlesbrough, Thornaby, Eaglescliffe, Allens West and Dinsdale. 1tph extends to Bishops Auckland, calling at North Road, Heighington, Newton Aycliffe and Shildon|
By December 2019, Northern plans to operate a network of twelve Northern Connect inter-urban express services – a franchise requirement. Most of these will be operated by brand-new Class 195 Civity diesel multiple units and Class 331 Civity electric multiple units, whilst the Middlesbrough to Carlisle via Newcastle route will be operated by refurbished Class 158 units. Electrification of the line between Oxenholme and Windermere was cancelled by the Government in 2017, so the Manchester Airport to Windermere route will be operated initially by Class 769 Flex trains instead, with Class 195 Civity trains taking over by the end of 2019.
Places that will be served by Northern Connect routes include Bradford, Chester, Halifax, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Nottingham, Newcastle, Preston, Sheffield, Barnsley, Lincoln, Wakefield, Wigan and York.
Northern Connect planned future routes and future rolling stock
- Bold denotes Northern Connect services that are partially operational as of December 2018 timetable. Northern Connect branding and new rolling stock to introduced by end of 2019.
Northern inherited the rolling stock operated by Northern Rail, namely Class 142, 144, 150, 153, 155, 156 and 158 diesel multiple units and Class 319, 321, 322, 323 and 333 electric multiple units. To operate services transferred from the TransPennine Express franchise, four Class 185 units were sublet from that franchise to Northern, with this later reducing to two units. To provide additional peak time capacity on the Calder Valley Line, one Class 180 unit is sublet from Grand Central to Northern per weekday.
|Diesel multiple units|
|142 Pacer||DMU||75||121||2||79||Local and commuter services across the North||1985–87|
|144 Pacer||75||121||2||13||Local and commuter services in Yorkshire||1986–87|
|150/1 & 150/2 Sprinter||75||121||2||75||Local services across the North||1985–87|
|153 Super Sprinter||75||121||1||20||Local and commuter services across the North
Also used to boost capacity on peak time services
|155 Super Sprinter||75||121||2||7||
|156 Super Sprinter||75||121||2||47||Local, commuter and regional services across the North||1987–89|
|158/0 & 158/9
(One unit is subleased to TransPennine Express)
|180 Adelante||125||201||5||1||Calder Valley Line peak time services[nb 3]
(One unit is subleased from Grand Central)
|185 Desiro||100||161||3||2||Services transferred from TransPennine Express[nb 4]
(Two units are subleased from TransPennine Express)
|Electric multiple units|
|319/3 & 319/4||EMU||100||161||4||27[nb 5]||Electrified commuter services in Greater Manchester, Merseyside and from Blackpool||1987–90|
|321/9||100||161||4||3||Electrified commuter services in West Yorkshire||1991|
|322||100||161||4||5||Electrified commuter services in West Yorkshire||1990|
|323||90||140||3||17||Electrified commuter services in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Merseyside||1992–93|
|333||100||161||4||16||Electrified commuter services in West Yorkshire||2000|
|City||December 2017 Peak Capacity
(07:59–10:00, seats + standing)
|December 2019 Peak Capacity|
(07:59–10:00, seats + standing)
The withdrawal of Class 142 and 144 trains, known commonly as Pacers, was scheduled to commence in November 2018, with the last to be removed from traffic in October 2019. Other trains due to leave Northern's fleet are the Class 153 diesel multiple unit and Class 321, Class 322 and Class 323 electric multiple units.
As part of the franchise agreement, there is a requirement to undertake refurbishment of all retained vehicles comprising diesel multiple units; Class 150 (162 veh), 155 (14 veh), 156 (94 veh), 158 (114 veh), 170 (48 veh) and electric multiple units; Class 319 (128 veh) and 333 (64). This includes new flooring and seat coverings, internal repaint, CCTV, Wi-Fi and provision of electric sockets. The 16 Class 333 units are also to have two vehicles per set modified to a “metro style” configuration to increase passenger carrying capacity per unit by at least 19%. Class 319 and 333 units are also to have pantograph monitoring equipment installed. 
Northern has ordered 101 brand new trains from Spanish rolling manufacturer CAF. A total of 58 Class 195 diesel multiple units and 43 Class 331 electric multiple units are scheduled to enter service in 2019.
A number of other trains are to be cascaded to Northern from other operators. A total of 49 diesel trains are due to join the fleet from Great Western Railway, ScotRail and West Midlands Trains between 2017 and 2019. An additional eighteen two car diesel units, comparable to a Class 170, are due to join the fleet by December 2022.
In 2018, five Class 153 units transferred from GWR on a short term basis to provide extra capacity.
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Carriages||Number||Routes||Built||In Service|
|Diesel multiple units|
|150/1 Sprinter||DMU||75||121||2||3||Commuter services across The North||1984–85||2017–19|
|150/9 Sprinter||DMU||75||121||3||12[nb 6]||Services including:
|195/0 & 195/1 Civity||DMU||100||161||2||25||Northern Connect services||2017–19||2019|
|TBC[nb 7]||DMU||100||161||2||18||Services to be confirmed||TBC||2022[nb 8]|
|Electric multiple units|
|331/0 & 331/1 Civity||EMU||100||161||3||31||2017–19||2019|
|Bi-mode multiple units|
Driver Controlled OperationEdit
The Department of Transport and Rail North have specified that the franchise must ensure that at least 50% of the aggregate Train Mileage of Passenger Services provided in each Reporting Period is operated as Driver Controlled Operation (DCO).
DCO is defined as "operation of a train by a driver alone without the need for a conductor (or any other Franchise Employee)." The franchise further specifies that "Where ... a Passenger Service is operated as Driver Controlled Operation the Franchisee shall ... plan for an additional Franchise Employee (that is, in addition to the driver) to be present on such Passenger Service."
The RMT Union are unhappy about this change, as roles currently undertaken by guards would instead be undertaken by drivers (such as releasing the doors once the train has stopped at a station). Although Northern have said they would be willing to guarantee that a second member of staff would be on board, the use of DCO could theoretically make it possible to run a train without a guard, and as a result, the union have called industrial action over the change.
On 28 November 2018, it was announced that Transport for the North is against support for the removal of an additional franchise employee on Northern services, and urged the RMT Union to suspend the current strike action. On 29 November, RMT announced that it had offered to suspend industrial action under the condition that trains will never run without a guard on the train, however, on 30 November, the union confirmed that it will continue industrial action as planned.
On 7 February 2019, the RMT announced that it had suspended further industrial action on Northern, bringing an end to consecutive strikes on Saturdays since 25 August 2018. 
A new depot will open in Wigan in December 2019, with space for 32 trains. The depot will be adapted from a freight yard at Springs Branch railway sidings in Ince-in-Makerfield and will cost £46 million.
Northern currently has depots for its train crew at Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn, Blackpool North, Buxton, Carlisle, Darlington (drivers), Doncaster, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull, Ilkley, Liverpool Lime Street, Leeds, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Middlesbrough (guards), Newcastle, Sheffield, Skipton, Wigan Wallgate, Workington and York.
- Two units are leased from TransPennine Express, one unit is leased to TransPennine Express and one unit is leased from Grand Central
- The three services which transferred to the new Northern franchise in April 2016 are Manchester Airport to Blackpool North, Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness and the Oxenholme to Windermere shuttle
- One morning peak time service from Hebden Bridge to Leeds, and one return trip in the evening peak, from Monday to Friday
- The three services which transferred to the Northern franchise are Manchester Airport to Blackpool North, Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness and the Oxenholme to Windermere shuttle
- The eight Class 319/4 units are to be converted to Class 769 bi-mode units
- Eighteen units are to be converted into twelve three car Class 150/9 units
- These must be DMUs which are at least an equivalent in performance and quality to 2-car Class 170 units
- These units must be in service no later than December 2022.
- Class 319/4 units were initially built between 1987 and 1988
- "We are modernising". Arriva Rail North. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- Topham, Gwyn (6 December 2018). "Train performance this summer the worst for 20 years, figures show". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
Northern’s punctuality and reliability hit an all-time low for the July–September period, according to industry regulator the Office of Rail and Road
- "Most overcrowded services revealed as passenger numbers plummet". Rail Technology Magazine. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
Users of rail networks in several major cities across England have fallen. Passengers of services to Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Cardiff have suffered the largest decline, with many citing chaotic delays and cancellations as a number of reasons for no longer frequently using rail network.
- "Complaints about complaints: train passengers fed up with how they're treated". Which?. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
Northern had the lowest satisfaction rate for politeness out of all train companies in the survey; in fact, it came last or in the bottom three of the 18 train companies in every aspect of the complaints process that passengers were asked about.
- "Further disruption on Northern Rail as union members begin 38th day of strike action". ITV News. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- "EXCLUSIVE: New trains crisis: ORR demands co-operation to ensure progress of new fleets". Rail Magazine. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
- Topham, Gwyn (14 June 2018). "Fall in UK rail passenger numbers casts doubt on viability of franchises". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
Questions have been raised by MPs over whether Abellio overbid for Greater Anglia, which suffered a further 2% decline in passengers last quarter, or Arriva for Northern, where customer numbers fell 9% in a strike-hit period.
- "Northern Rail and German owner in crisis talks with government over risk of £282m bailout". Railway Technology Magazine. 5 November 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- "Rail franchising: Northern and TransPennine Express franchises". GOV.UK. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- "Northern Connect". Arriva Rail North. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
- Shortlist for Northern and TransPennine operators revealed Department for Transport 19 August 2014
- Transformation of rail in the north Northern 27 February 2015
- DVV Media International Ltd. "Northern and TransPennine Express franchises awarded". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- Lea, Robert (21 May 2016). "Arriva faces northern exposure amid franchise victory enquiry". The Times (71916). p. 51.
- Clinnick, Richard (17 May 2015). "Arriva faces possible investigation over competition concerns". Rail. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
- "Northern extends new penalty fares - but operator promises you CAN still buy tickets on the train". Manchester Evening News. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
- "The Railways (Penalty Fares) Regulations 2018 - Regulation 6". HM Government. Retrieved 2019-04-13.
- "Display Report | Office of Rail Regulation – National Rail Trends Portal". Dataportal.orr.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- "Display Report | Office of Rail Regulation – National Rail Trends Portal". Dataportal.orr.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- "Northern Rail – Performance". Arriva Rail North. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
- Calder, Simon (21 May 2018). "Passenger fury at Northern Rail as train chaos hits Blackpool, Bolton and Manchester Airport on first day of new timetable". The Independent. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- "'Unacceptable #NorthernFail' – the travel chaos passengers faced on first working day of new Northern timetable". Manchester Evening News. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- "Northern rail to commission independent report into train disruption". BBC News. 25 May 2018.
- "Temporary timetables | Northern". www.northernrailway.co.uk. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- "Reality Check: Is a driver shortage messing up Northern trains?". BBC News. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
- "A big chunk of Northern's timetable is back on Monday – but not for many Greater Manchester passengers". Manchester Evening News. 29 July 2018.
As an industry we are really sorry for the impact that this has had on customers. Congestion on the network within the Manchester area has been a factor in the disruption and as all our services run through this corridor this caused a knock-on effect on our services across the North.
- "Passenger Rail Service Complaints – 2018–19 Q1 Statistical Release" (PDF). Office of Rail and Road. 25 October 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- "Northern is a disaster. Why have commuters been left to face it alone?". The Guardian. 21 September 2018.
- "Rail network 'crippling the North': Leeds commuter's angry open letter about life as a Northern passenger". Yorkshire Post. 14 October 2018.
- Paton, Graeme (16 October 2018). "Manchester Oxford Road station is worst for delays". The Times.
- "UK's railway stations with most train delays revealed". BBC News. 16 October 2018.
- "14 October to 10 November 2018" (PDF). Arriva Rail North. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
- Gill, Oliver (4 November 2018). "German rail giant seeks help to prop up UK arm that owns Northern franchise". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
- "Passenger journeys by train operating company – Table 12.12". Office for Rail and Road. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- "Passenger Rail Usage – 2018–19 Q1 Statistical Release" (PDF). Office of Rail and Road. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- "Estimates of station usage". Office of Rail and Road. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
- "Northern tells rail passengers disruption will continue until May". The Guardian. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
- "More compensation for delay-hit Northern rail passengers". BBC News. 13 September 2018.
- Coffey, Helen (12 December 2018). "Northern Rail delays and cancellations likely to continue until May 2019 while fares increase by 3.2%". The Independent. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
- Transformation of rail travel in the north Department for Transport 27 February 2015
- Stakeholder Briefing Document and Consultation Response Department for Transport 27 February 2015
- "Proud to be Northern – April 2016".
- "Arriva chosen to run and expand Northern franchise from next year". Rail Technology Magazine. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Massive boost to rail services brings Northern Powerhouse to life".
- "Rail Franchise Schedule" (PDF). UK Department of Transport.
- East Midlands rail franchise consultation Department for Transport
- "Northern launches new business regions – Northern".
- "Northern Rail – Timetables". northern by arriva. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
- "Bi-mode Class 319s for Lakes Line". RailStaff. Coalville: Rail Media. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
- Department for Transport. "Northern franchise improvements". Maps.dft.gov.uk. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- "Special Cumbrian service to commemorate Class 37s". Northern. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- "Connecting People Through News". PressReader.com. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- "Northern 2015: Train Service Requirements". Department for Transport (DfT). Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "Northern announces dates for rundown of Pacer fleet" Rail Express issue 244 September 2016 page 11
- "Arriva signs £490m rolling stock contract to replace Northern's Pacers". Rail Technology Magazine. 22 January 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "UK railway news round-up". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- Barrow, Keith (11 December 2015). "Arriva confirms Northern rolling stock plans". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- Fender, Keith. "CAF presents first Civity EMU for Northern". International Railway Journal. International Railway Journal. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- "Northern 2015 rail franchise agreement". GOV.UK. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- "Regional Passenger Trains | Angel Trains". www.angeltrains.co.uk. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "Northern Franchise Agreement" (PDF). Gov.uk. Retrieved 14 July 2016.
- "Regional Passenger Trains". www.angeltrains.co.uk. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- Clinnick, Richard (23 October 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Northern to introduce converted bi-modes next year". Rail Magazine. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- "Northern offers reassurance to RMT over DCO". Railtechnologymagazine.com. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- "RMT announces further strike action on Arriva Rail North". rmt. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
- "Rail strikes: Transport for the North calls on Northern and RMT union to resume talks in row over train guards".
- Pidd, Helen (28 November 2018). "Northern rail plan to remove train guards faces statutory opposition". the Guardian.
- "RMT offers to suspend Northern Rail action". RMT.
- "RMT Northern Rail action goes ahead this weekend". RMT.
- "RMT suspends Northern strike action". RMT.
- "Northern opens £23m Blackburn depot as part of Great North Rail Project". Rail Technology Magazine. Rail Technology Magazine. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- Stuart Greer (24 April 2018). "New £46m train depot in Wigan will create 20 new jobs". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 28 November 2018.