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Monday 03 February, 2003

Strategic Rail Auth

Interim agreement for Arriva

Strategic Rail Authority
03 February 2003



                                                                 3 February 2003
                       
       SRA Announces Interim Agreement for Arriva Trains Northern

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) today announced that an interim franchise
agreement has been reached with Arriva Trains Northern.

Arriva Trains Northern will continue to operate services until the TransPennine
Express franchise commences in late 2003 and Northern Rail franchise commences
in the summer of 2004.

The SRA opened the competition for the Northern Rail passenger rail franchise at
the end of last year and will be announcing pre-qualified parties in the Spring.

Two bidders (Connex Transport UK Ltd and First Group plc/Keolis SA) are in the
final stage of the replacement process for the TransPennine Express franchise. 
The SRA will announce the successful bidder later in the year.


Nick Newton, SRA's Managing Director, Operations said:


'Since taking over the franchises Arriva has achieved improvements in
performance by addressing many fundamental issues.


'We are pleased to have reached agreement with Arriva and that the company will
continue to contribute to the delivery of the SRA's programme for improving the
UK's rail service.'


Notes to Editors


1.      The new Northern Rail franchise will provide inter-urban, commuter and
rural services throughout the whole of the North of England, principally in,
around and between the Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and
Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) areas. A number of services also
run from, and into, the Merseyside, West Midlands and Strathclyde PTE areas.


2.      Existing First North Western services to and from stations along the
North Wales coast are expected to transfer to the Interim Wales & Borders
Franchise on 28 September 2003. Existing ATN inter-urban and Manchester
International Airport (MIA) services and some FNW services, also to MIA, will
transfer to the TransPennine Express Franchise in late 2003.


3.      Both franchises will be of five to eight years' duration





             SRA Press Office: 020 7654 6339/ 6234 / 6387
                        Website: www.sra.gov.uk










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