The Calder Valley MP has welcomed news of plans for a multi-million pound investment programme in the Northern Rail franchise as Arriva signed the contract to deliver the network’s new rolling stock.
Following a comprehensive procurement process, international train manufacturer CAF will build the 281 carriages with the first of the new trains, which will enable the outdated and unpopular Pacer trains to be replaced, delivered by October 2018.
Craig Whittaker MP said: ‘The new Northern Rail franchise will bring the Northern Powerhouse to life, helping to extend economic opportunity across our region.
“Phasing out the old pacer trains is an integral part of the new franchise and the delivery of the new trains will be welcomed by commuters who have had to endure the poor quality pacer trains for far too long. “I have lobbied Government Ministers of both parties on this issue for over ten years and I am delighted to see the replacement of the pacer trains move a step closer with this announcement.”
Arriva will work closely with CAF and Eversholt Rail Group throughout the build process to ensure the trains meet the high specification and delivery timescales promised by the transport operator.
In a step-change for passengers, the new 100mph trains will include air conditioning, audio and visual on-board passenger information systems, power sockets and tables, cycle racks, toilets, digital CCTV systems, and free Wifi for passengers.
Chris Burchell, Managing Director of Arriva’s UK Trains Division, said: “We feel hugely privileged to have been given the opportunity to transform travel for passengers across the North of England and today’s contract signing allows us to replace the outdated, unpopular Pacer trains as soon as possible.
“We are delighted to partner with CAF and Eversholt Rail Group to meet the high specification and demanding timetable for delivery of the new rolling stock,” added Mr Burchell.