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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Northern Rail & Network Rail alliance ‘to deliver benefits for passengers’

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Northern Rail, a Serco and Abellio joint venture, and Network Rail have signed a framework agreement for an alliance.

The alliance will focus on seeking ways to improve industry efficiency and reduce costs to deliver improved facilities and services for passengers across the north of England.

Ian Bevan, Managing Director, Northern Rail said:

“We have worked closely with Network Rail since the start of our franchise in 2004 to deliver a better service for our passengers.

“Our partnership approach has been integral to the improvements we have achieved so far.

“The reopening of Allerton Maintenance Depot on Merseyside, to help cater for our recently enhanced fleet, is a prime example of this.

“We operate 2500 services every day with a network spanning three Network Rail routes and interfacing with 11 other train operators. This presents its own unique challenges when considering the context in which an alliance will work.

“However, our successful partnership to date meant we were keen to develop this. We began discussing an alliance with Network Rail in early 2011 to establish a more formal context to make real progress with the industry’s strategic agenda, driving down costs while improving services for passengers.”

David Higgins, chief executive, Network Rail said:

“Demand for our railway continues to grow and we need to work smarter with our rail industry partners if we are to continue with the improvements we have made to services over the last decade.

“Maintaining high levels of performance on an ever congested network, while investing billions of pounds and cutting costs, is a major challenge for all of us, a challenge that alliances will help to tackle.”

Northern and Network Rail are currently looking at a number of projects where there is an opportunity for more integrated working to improve passenger services and/or reduce costs.

The alliance ‘will open up a potentially wide-ranging series of opportunities to make real progress with the industry’s strategic agenda, driving down costs while improving services’.


  1. That’s all well and good, but if the majority of your trains are filthy and covered in grime (the 15X stock in particular), then your customers are not going to think well of you.


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