A clear vision for rail in the North
4 December 2013 • Author(s): Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Northern Rail
Operating 2,500 services every day, Northern Rail serves an area stretching from the Scottish Borders down to Nottingham and Stoke and from Southport and Sellafield in the West to Whitby and Hull in the East. It’s a wide ranging landscape of rural communities, market towns and bustling urban centres where rail services are at the heart of economic regeneration. The franchise was let in 2004 and originally set to run until September 2011 with no forecast of significant growth in passenger numbers. Fast forward nine years and customer journeys have increased by an impressive 42% with journeys on target to total 96 million by the end of the year. After an automatic extension for meeting performance targets, and a seven period continuation enacted by the Department for Transport (DfT), the latest review of the franchising programme means the team at Northern is now talking to the DfT about potentially operating for a further 22 months until February 2016. Enter new Managing Director – Alex Hynes. Previously Commercial Director at London Midland and most recently MD Rail Development for Go-Ahead, Alex joined Northern in August and in an exclusive interview with European Railway Review discusses the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.