Rail North to co-manage new Northern and TransPennine franchises
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin met with leaders of Rail North Ltd on 20 March to sign a formal agreement devolving power to the organisation in managing the Northern and TransPennine Express franchises.
Rail North represents 29 local authorities across the north of England, with a specific remit to promote rail devolution and improvement of rail services.
The agreement includes mechanisms to enable Rail North to make decisions on changes to local rail services and make investments in the franchises. It also enables further devolution to take place during the life of the franchises.
Under the agreement, the Department for Transport will work together with Rail North through a single joint strategic board and management team based in Leeds to manage and develop the new franchises, which are due to begin on 1 April 2016. A core team of five headed by a managing director will be in place at the end of the year.