TransPennine Express (TPE) is a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup that operates the TransPennine Express franchise. It runs regional and intercity rail services between the major cities of Northern England and Scotland.
1 April 2016 – 31 March 2023
|Main route(s)||North West England, Yorkshire and Humber, North East England, Scotland|
|Predecessor||First TransPennine Express|
The franchise operates all its services to and through Manchester covering three main routes. The service provides rail links for major towns and cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, York, Scarborough, Middlesbrough and Newcastle. TPE also run trains 24 hours a day, including through New Year's Eve night. Trains run between York, Leeds and Manchester Airport at least every three hours every night of the week.
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 with Northern Spirit and its successor, Arriva Trains Northern maintaining 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 Manchester to Edinburgh and Glasgow via the West Coast Main Line formerly operated by Virgin CrossCountry were transferred to First TransPennine Express.
In August 2014, the Department for Transport announced FirstGroup, Keolis/Go-Ahead and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the next franchise. In December 2015, FirstGroup was awarded the franchise with TransPennine Express taking over on 1 April 2016. The franchise will run until 31 March 2023 with an option to extend for two years.
As part of a recasting of the franchise map by the Department for Transport, services from Manchester Airport to Blackpool North, Barrow in Furness and Oxenholme to Windermere were transferred to the Northern franchise on 1 April 2016.
The TransPennine Express routes are subdivided into three operations:
- North TransPennine, which includes all routes that pass through the core section between Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds;
- TransPennine North West, which consists of services on the West Coast Main Line;
- South TransPennine, which includes services running on the Hope Valley line and the South Humberside Main Line.
Details of each route, including maps and timetables, are on the TransPennine Express official website (see External links, below). In May 2018, following the transfer of the Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield Northern stopping service to TPE, regular services ceased between some of the intermediate Pennine stations, most daytime services either stopped at Mossley and Slaithwaite, or Greenfield and Marsden. Following the December 2018 timetable change, however, regular services resumed between Mossley, Slaithwaite, Greenfield and Marsden.
As of December 2019, the following services operate off-peak, Mondays to Saturdays, with frequencies in trains per hour (tph):
- Generally served hourly or two-hourly but there are some longer gaps between services; trains stop to pick up only towards Glasgow/Edinburgh, and to set down only towards Manchester.
- Generally served hourly but there are some two-hour gaps between services.
- one train terminates at Preston
TransPennine Express inherited a fleet of 4 Class 170 and 51 Class 185 DMUs as well as 10 Class 350/4 EMUs from First TransPennine Express, however the Class 170s left for Chiltern Railways to be converted to Class 168s shortly afterwards. It is planned that when all new trains in the Nova fleet enter service, 22 of the 51 Class 185 DMUs will be returned to Eversholt Rail Group. In 2020, all ten of the Class 350 EMUs transferred to West Midlands Trains following a delayed introduction of the Class 397 (Nova 2) sets 
The new trains in the Nova fleet have now began to enter service. The Nova 3 sets (Class 68 + Mark 5A coaches) were the first of do this on 24 August 2019. This was followed by the Nova 1 sets (Class 802 units) on 28 September 2019 and finally the Nova 2 sets (Class 397 units) on 30 November 2019. TPE officially launched the Nova fleet on 22 November at Liverpool Lime Street station.
|Trainset||Class||Image||Type||Top speed||No.||Carriages||Routes operated||Built|
|Diesel multiple units|
|Siemens Desiro||185||DMU||100||160||51||3||All routes: North and South TransPennine & TransPennine North West||2005–06|
|Electric multiple units|
|CAF Civity||397 Nova 2||EMU||125||200||12||5||TransPennine North West||2017–19|
|Locomotive hauled stock|
|Stadler UKLight||Class 68||Diesel locomotive||100||160||14||5||
|CAF||Mark 5A Nova 3||Coach||125||200||52||2017–18|
|Bi-mode multiple units|
|Hitachi AT300||802/2 Nova 1||BMU||125||200||19||5||
Former units operated by TransPennine Express include:
|Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Carriages||Transferred to||Built||Left Fleet|
|170/3 Turbostar||DMU||100||160||4||2||Chiltern Railways and converted to Class 168/3s||2000||2016|
|350/4 Desiro||EMU||110||177||10||4||West Midlands Trains||2013-14||2019-20|
TransPennine Express services run over a large area of northern England and southern Scottish Lowlands. Many of the largest stations they serve are managed by other train operating companies or Network Rail.
Some stations from the former TransPennine Express franchise (First Keolis) were transferred to Northern. These include Arnside, Barrow-in-Furness, Birchwood, Burneside, Carnforth, Grange-over-Sands, Kendal, Staveley, Ulverston, Warrington Central and Windermere.
Siemens maintains the Class 185 fleet at Ardwick depot in Manchester with a smaller facility in York. Scottish stabling points for both stock include Polmadie TRSMD (Glasgow) and Craigentinny T.&R.S.M.D. (Edinburgh). Hitachi will maintain the AT300 fleet at Doncaster Carr and Craigentinny. The new EMUs and loco-hauled sets will be maintained by Alstom, on behalf of TransPennine Express, at Longsight (Manchester), Edge Hill (Liverpool) and Polmadie (Glasgow).
TransPennine Express have depots for its train crews at Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport (conductors), York, Newcastle, Scarborough, Hull, Cleethorpes, Sheffield, Preston, Liverpool and Glasgow Central.
- "FIRST TRANSPENNINE EXPRESS LIMITED – Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- "Passenger journeys by train operating company – Table 12.12 | ORR Data Portal".
- "Collections Online – Objects".
- "Northern Spirit is brand new name for Regional Railways North East" Rail issue 332 3 June 1998 page 7
- The Trans-Pennine Express rail franchise Archived 20 October 2004 at the Wayback Machine. Yorkshire & The Humber Transport Activist's Roundtable Briefing Note October 2001.
- "SRA Announce Preferred Bidder For TransPennine Express Franchise" (PDF) (Press release). Strategic Rail Authority. 28 July 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2009.
- New Cross Country Franchise Consultation Document Department for Transport June 2006
- Shortlist for Northern and TransPennine operators revealed Department for Transport 19 August 2014
- "FirstGroup awarded TransPennine Express franchise". Rail Technology Magazine. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Arriva and First chosen for Northern and TransPennine franchises". International Railway Journal. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "FirstGroup plc welcomes award of TransPennine Express rail franchise". 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- Stakeholder Briefing Document and Consultation Response Department for Transport 27 February 2015
- "TfGMC – Item 05b TPE – New Franchise presentation". www.transportforgreatermanchestercommittee.gov.uk.
- Briginshaw, David (23 May 2016). "CAF to supply trains to TransPennine Express". International Rail Journal. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- "TPE Nova 3 enters service | Modern Railways". Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- 2019-09-30T14:54:00+01:00. "First Nova 1 trainset enters revenue service with TPE". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- 2019-12-02T09:37:00+00:00. "Nova 2 enters service at last". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- "TransPennine Express launches new £500m fleet". 22 November 2019. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- "More new trains for the North and Scotland". First Transpennine Express. 20 May 2016.
- "Class 68 Specification". Rail Magazine. October 2014.
- New-build DRS Class 68s to operate TPE's Mk 5 rakes – PressReader.com. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
- "First view of TransPennine livery on a Class 68 loco". The Railway Magazine. The Railway Magazine. 28 October 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- DfT (22 December 2015). "TPE Franchise Agreement" (PDF). Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- "Safe and sound train stations". First Transpennine Express. October 2011.
- Hitachi awarded TransPennine Express multiple unit contract Railway Gazette International 31 March 2016
First TransPennine Express
(FirstGroup and Keolis joint venture)
| Operator of TransPennine Express franchise