End of the line for rail franchising September 21, 2020

A TransPennine Express train at SlaithwaiteGovernment ministers announced the end of the line for rail franchising on Monday September 21.

Making the announcement, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "The model of privatisation adopted 25 years ago has seen significant rises in passenger numbers, but this pandemic has proven that it is no longer working.

A Cross Country Trains journey at York"Our new deal for rail demands more for passengers. It will simplify people’s journeys, ending the uncertainty and confusion about whether you are using the right ticket or the right train company. "

Franchising has now been replaced with "Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements" with the aim of paving the way for wider rail industry reform with a more co-ordinated railway.

An East Midlands Railway train at SheffieldIn Yorkshire, franchise companies affected are TransPennine Express, owned by First Group; Cross Country Trains, run by German-state-owned Arriva; and East Midlands Railway, run by Dutch-state-owned Abellio. EMR only began an eight-year franchise just over a year ago when it took over the routes previously run by Stagecoach as East Midlands Trains.

The UK Government earlier this year took over the Northern franchise from Arriva and also runs the East Coast franchise, taken over from Virgin/Stagecoach and now operated as LNER.

Yorkshire has two other rail operators, Grand Central, run by Arriva, and Hull Trains, run by First. These are "open access" rather than franchise operators and it remains to be seen how they will fit into the Government's simplified journey model.

See where the various rail operators run services in Yorkshire on our updated interactive Rail map.

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