Transpennine Express Franchise Agreement

The new TransPennine Express (TPE) franchise has begun and has promised radical improvements over the next five years. TPE connections connect Liverpool and Manchester to east coast destinations such as Scarborough, Hull and Newcastle, as well as to Glasgow and Edinburgh via Carlisle. The report also incorrectly states that “work practices and agreements within the industry have not changed much in many years, if not decades,” while the reality of almost all levels of rail has led to a restructuring of conditions. With regard to overcrowding and capacity, RMT estimates that this will increase the number of vehicles, i.e. the increase in rolling stock. Increasing the overcrowding threshold, unlike the issue of capacity, should not be considered an option, as it represents an additional burden on travellers and frees the franchisee from a key liability. The new franchise will last seven years and TPE claim that an investment of more than $500 million is made, but not all of them if you read the detail carefully! The new trains will represent a large part of it and will be leased by Angel Trains to the operator. However, beyond semantics, there appear to be real improvements, as capacity increases by 80% during peak periods and by 2019, 55% more trains between the largest cities in the north of England and Edinburgh and Glasgow pass through Carlisle and Newcastle. In February 2020, the government decided to terminate the franchise agreement with Arriva and transfer the property under the Operator Of Last Resort to Goverment. The new operator started on March 1, 2020 and will establish an improvement plan within the first 100 days.

The project also includes the maintenance of the new fleet. CAF`s commitment to the First Group operator is long-term, as this partnership will continue until the end of the franchise`s operation with the provision of technical support for maintenance and integrated spare parts management for both docks. RMT is very concerned about the way Future of Northern and TransPennine Express are consulting the rail franchise.

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