Deal for faster trains and more seats

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin
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Rail services in Preston are set for a boost under new Government plans.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin revealed a deal has been struck with the operators of the Northern and TransPennine Express for more carriages and seats, increasing capacity on selected services between Blackpool North and Manchester Airport / Manchester Oxford Road, benefitting passengers in Preston, Bolton and Salford.

He said: “Rail services across the north are vital for passengers and for the economy. By helping people access work and leisure more easily, we are securing long-term economic growth across the region. That is why we have worked hard with Northern and TransPennine Express to ensure we expand services and enhance passenger journeys.”

There will also be new faster, smoother and greener electric trains on the Liverpool to Preston and the Manchester Victoria to Liverpool routes.

They will be rolled out on the Liverpool to Preston route in the autumn, freeing up existing diesel trains to create additional capacity elsewhere on the north’s network.

The announcements are part of a wider plan to increase capacity on key routes across northern England. It follows a decision by rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook to move trains running on the TransPennine Express route to the Chiltern franchise.

Nick Donovan of First TransPennine Express said: “I am delighted that we have been able to work together and develop a plan that aims to protect rail services for the huge majority of customers in the north of England and, indeed, deliver some additional capacity at a time when demand across our network is higher than ever.”