Oct 16, 2019

Northern Rail could be renationalised

The Department for Transport confirmed it was developing contingency plans for the replacement of the current franchise "With either a new short-term management contract with Northern or the Operator of Last Resort". "In the context of significant challenges facing the operator, such as delays to infrastructure upgrades and historic underinvestment in the northern rail network, issuing a request for proposal enables the department to examine whether the contract is properly aligned with current operating challenges in the North," it said. Northern Rail, which is one of the biggest franchises in the country, has been in trouble for years. Mr Shapps said: "If you are northern, and you are a Northern passenger, you're as frustrated as I was in 2018. With Northern [Rail] it has failed to recover." The OLR has been monitoring Northern for some time and any change to the operation of the franchise would take months to implement.

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