Northern Franchise Extension granted

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trentside

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Although many will no doubt be along soon to slate them, I'm pleased that Northern have got a franchise extension. I still have a reliable and useable local service thanks to them, which I certainly couldn't rely on in Arriva Trains Northern days.
 

swt_passenger

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ainsworth74

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Isn't it good of Northern to let its staff know!

Well in fairness they don't actually know yet, it seems likely that their either be a merger of the two franchises or some route swapping between them but nothing concrete from the DfT just yet. Though this extension leads me to conclude that something is almost certainly going to happen with the two franchises in 2014.
 

sprinterguy

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I thought it was already generally known that the Northern and TPE franchises would be aligned to finish "between April 2014 and March 2015"? At least this has confirmed that the two franchises will be finishing at the earliest of these dates.

I can completely concur with this though:
Although many will no doubt be along soon to slate them, I'm pleased that Northern have got a franchise extension. I still have a reliable and useable local service thanks to them, which I certainly couldn't rely on in Arriva Trains Northern days.
 
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142094

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I thought it was already generally known that the Northern and TPE franchises would be aligned to finish "between April 2014 and March 2015"? At least this has confirmed that the two franchises will be finishing at the earliest of these dates.

Think most of us knew it was going to happen, but has been confirmed now.
 

WillPS

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Good news if you ask me. Better the devil you know as the saying goes. :D
I hesitate to agree. Although the stock is a mixed bag of crap, 85% of which needs replacing or total refurbishment, I can see another operator taking a far more anti-customer stance than Serco/Abellio.

First TransPennine too offer some very good value fares and there are certainly offers of theirs I'll miss.
 

Rich McLean

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What's the odds on the DfT advertising the new franchise as another no growth franchise again, in order to save money?

I hope this doesn't happen, but I can very well see it
 

gnolife

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I think they\d be idiots if they did have it as no-growth - lines like Hazel Grove - Preston, Man Victoria - Huddersfield tend to be extremely well loaded in my experience of them - which includes travel throughout the day and not just the peaks.
 

WillPS

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What's the odds on the DfT advertising the new franchise as another no growth franchise again, in order to save money?

I hope this doesn't happen, but I can very well see it

I don't think it would favour them if they did. There is a legal necessity for a very large amount of investment in this franchise over the next period; Pacers will need replacing and a lot will need to be invested in most of the Sprinter fleet to keep it compliant.

If they let it as no-growth the bidders will have to factor the cost of this in to their bids and the bids will generally be lower than they would be if growth were factored in.
 

spionkop64

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Northern do a good job with the most clapped out train fleet in the developed world. However, the sheer grubbiness of some of their trains is unforgiveable. I know it's a no-growth franchise, but it doesn't excuse the lack of care shown to a not insignificant proportion of their fleet. Still, the franchise has tremendous potential and almost all of it would be realised with a mix of refurbished and new trains.

Finally, as well as merging TPE/Northern, there will be a similar relationship with Network Rail and, who knows, perhaps even a super TPE covering the north of England?
 

IanXC

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Finally, as well as merging TPE/Northern, there will be a similar relationship with Network Rail and, who knows, perhaps even a super TPE covering the north of England?

That rather depends whether a full merger, redrawing of the boundaries or even a return to the previous east/west split is carried out. If you're thinking of the kind of TOC-NR alliance SWT have, I think that's unlikely. NR's routes follow the East and West Coast Mainines so I don't think the other TOCs would be best pleased!

 

142094

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However, the sheer grubbiness of some of their trains is unforgiveable. I know it's a no-growth franchise, but it doesn't excuse the lack of care shown to a not insignificant proportion of their fleet.

There was a iscussion ecently on the same thing and someone made the point that it is not mentioned in the Northern franchise agreement to refurbish interiors of their trains (can't quite remember the exact wording), so any work Northern do to their trains, is going above their remit.
 

Lampshade

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I think they\d be idiots if they did have it as no-growth - lines like Hazel Grove - Preston, Man Victoria - Huddersfield tend to be extremely well loaded in my experience of them - which includes travel throughout the day and not just the peaks.

I'd hope that no one would bid for another no-growth franchise, meaning they'd have to let it on a growth basis.
 

WillPS

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I'd hope that no one would bid for another no-growth franchise, meaning they'd have to let it on a growth basis.

They'd certainly bid but they'd expect rather more from the government since they will require significant investment to keep their fleet compliant.
 

142094

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I'd hope that no one would bid for another no-growth franchise, meaning they'd have to let it on a growth basis.

A company will always bid, as if it doesn't, it of course leaves the door open for a competitor. Some people use the fact that Serco and Nedrailways as it was then bid for the franchise knowing it was 0% growth as a weapon against Northern. Even if Serco/Abellio didn't bid, some other company would have won it.
 

MidnightFlyer

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I welcome the extension, regardless of what it incurs. If it excluded the zero growth clause, I would happily take another full franchise of Northern.
 

WatcherZero

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I saw the company press release and the claim it allowed more investment in train washing plants and fell of my chair laughing. How many times have they said that in the last five years and still they are filthier than coal wagons!
 
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