Better rail service pledge as Northern set to introduce new carriages in 2019

Northern is among the rail operators introducing new train carriages in 2019
Northern is among the rail operators introducing new train carriages in 2019

Rail passengers have been promised an improved service next year - following anger over fare increases - as new train carriages are set to be rolled out.

Rail operator Northern is among several set to introduce new carriages in 2019, the body representing train firms said.

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The Rail Delivery Group, which brings together train operators and Network Rail, said it will be the biggest introduction of new rolling stock in decades.

Hundreds of new and refurbished-like-new carriages will be rolled out nationally up until 2021 - with more seats, improved accessibility and air conditioning.

The rail industry announced last month that rail fares will increase by an average of 3.1 per cent on January 2, the largest rise since January 2013, according to Office of Rail and Road data.

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said in November the money from fares underpins improvements to the railway, and will mean "more seats, extra services and better connections" for passengers.

The operators introducing new carriages include South Western Railway, Trans Pennine Express and Northern. Govia Thameslink Railway passengers will see 150 new carriages replacing trains from the 1970s.

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "In the 21st century, you should be able to run your business from a train.

"As well as ensuring rail services are reliable and well-maintained, providing decent WiFi connections and proper power points is going to be crucial for a modern business that relies on travel."