Thursday, December 5, 2019

News: Northern's new trains on the way to South Yorkshire


Franchise operator, Northern Rail, has announced that new trains will be introduced into South Yorkshire later this month.

From Sunday December 15 more than 50 new Northern trains will be carrying customers across the network – with a further 49 to be introduced in 2020.

Delays have meant that Pacers will still be used in South Yorkshire in 2020. The delay has been caused by technical problems with the new trains, bought and owned by one of the three rolling stock companies, Eversholt.

The new trains feature free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, at-seat power and customer information/media screens with real-time information. They are also more spacious for customers and are fully accessible with spaces for wheel chairs and cycles.

Steve Hopkinson, regional director at Northern, said: "The Northern network is busier than it has been for a generation – more than 100 million customer journeys will be made on Northern services in 2019 – and the introduction of new trains is at the heart of delivering improvements for our customers.

"We are delighted, therefore, that customers travelling through South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands will now be served by brand new trains.

"These fantastic trains are a true step-change in travelling experience and we are extremely proud to be delivering a £500m investment for our customers."


Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, added: "We are looking to grow our economy in a way where everyone gets a full opportunity to succeed – and also in a sustainable way.  Trains are a very energy efficient and carbon friendly way to transport passengers around our Region and beyond.

"We are now seeing the promised investment and so today is a day for celebration. It is the start of a new era of rail travel in South Yorkshire and I warmly welcome it on behalf of all businesses."

Northern, which operates the majority of services in Rotherham, is also currently fully refurbishing its existing fleet of 268 trains.

Despite Northern previously saying that Pacers would be removed by the end of 2019, up to 34 (11 Class 142 and 23 Class 144) Pacers will remain in the fleet for a short time into 2020 to cover the delay in delivery of new trains into the franchise. Northern’s current plan is to remove all 142s by February 17, 2020 and to remove 144s by May 17, 2020.

The Pacers will operate mainly in South Yorkshire including Sheffield to Gainsborough Central (through Kiveton), Huddersfield and Doncaster as well as areas of West Yorkshire and Manchester.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said in October: “Yet again, rail passengers in the Sheffield City Region are being treated like second-class citizens.

"While commuters in London have Crossrail coming; here in the North people face travelling on what are essentially old buses on rails, at speeds that average 35mph."

It is likely that a number of old Pacer trains will be heading to CF Booth in Rotherham for scrapping. The historic firm has recently progressed plans to enable railcars to be stored at its Millmoor site.

Images: Northern / RMT


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