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Northern Rail response to over-crowding on Manchester trains

March 2, 2010

Northern Rail’s Mark Barker has been in touch to re-assure us they are not lacking any motivation to tackle the over-crowding problems in Manchester.

Thanks for getting in touch Mark and we’re pleased to set the record straight with your reply:

I would like to assure FoWS that Northern have been working very hard over the last two years to provide the detail to make a business case for additional carriages for our network, and motivation is not the issue. The fact is that Northern does not have the vehicles to strengthen any more trains than we do currently. Any additional train leases would need to be authorised by the Department for Transport, and both the leases and the ongoing running costs funded. Funding would have to come from either DfT or from another stakeholder wishing to sponsor the additional carriages, sucvh as potentially GMPTE . Clearly all our stakeholders have budgetary issues to consider given the current pressures on public finances so we understand the need for a rigorous appraisal process before any increase in our fleet can be approved. There is also the question of where any additional vehicles are going to come from. This is most likely to be as a result of deliveries of new trains to other operators freeing up trains currently in use with them. There are other potential uses for these trains than here in Northern and this is why DfT need to be sure that they are getting the best value for money with us. This is what we have been doing to get the best possible deal for the north. We hope there will be some further news in the near future.

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