First class service from rail operator

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A THRIVING regional train operator has come top of its class in the National Transport Awards.

Northern Rail has been named Transport Operator of the Year in the rail category.

Judges highlighted its improved performance and reliability, approach to working with stakeholders and success in attracting 38 per cent more passengers since the start of the franchise in 2004.

Chairman of the judging panel Professor David Begg said: “Northern’s franchise is unrecognisable from the original steady state, with no growth, no station investment and no rolling stock, it was supposed to be.

“Reliability of its fleet has improved by 45 per cent and Northern provides its passengers with real value for money.”

The awards were presented in a ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel earlier this month.

Northern Rail Managing Director Ian Bevan said: “This is the second time we have won this award in the last four years and we are obviously delighted to be recognised for our efforts in this industry.

“As the judges commented, we have achieved fantastic business growth, despite being awarded a franchise of no investment, and this is great recognition of all our employees who work hard to provide the best service possible to our customers.”

Northern Rail operates 2,500 local and regional train services every day across the north of England.