Northern Rail Brought Under Government Control

Northern Rail Brought Under Government Control
Troubled rail company Northern is to be brought under government control, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The beleaguered rail operator will be brought under the government’s control after years of problems.

The Department for Transport has been weighing up whether to hand a new, short-term contract to franchise holder Arriva Rail North or to nationalise services by putting the Government-controlled Operator of Last Resort (OLR) in charge. It has now been confirmed that the second of those options has been chosen by the government.

The decision, which will see the firm’s franchise stripped from operator Arriva Rail North from 1 March, was taken following months of major disruption.

The government previously described the delays and cancellations as “unacceptable”. Mr Shapps said passengers had “lost trust in the north’s rail network”.

He then told Parliament that he would be taking action against Northern by the end of January after being informed that the failing franchise would actually only be able to continue for a number of months because of its perilous financial situation.

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