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All change on trains

All change on trains

Published at 6:17pm 1st April 2016. (Updated at 6:52pm 1st April 2016)

Trains on the Harrogate, Airedale and Wharfedale lines are now being run by a new operator.

Arriva Rail North has taken over the Northern franchise until March 2025.

The company is promising to "transform" the network, with new and refurbished trains, more services, faster journey times, better connections and significant improvements to stations.

Chris Burchell, Managing Director of Arriva's UK Trains division, said: "Today marks an exciting day for Arriva and the millions of passengers who travel on Northern.

"The journey towards a complete transformation in services for customers in the North starts now. Throughout the term of the franchise, we will be injecting a multi-million pound investment to deliver a step-change in quality and are excited to now have the opportunity to start delivering on our promises to passengers.

"Our ambitious plans would not be possible without the 5,000 staff who join the Arriva family today. We value the experience and expertise they bring, as we link cities and communities across the North like never before."

First Trans Pennine Express has taken over the running of intercity services across the region.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority's Transport Committee, said: "West Yorkshire and its neighbouring authorities will benefit from these positive developments, which are a testament to the devolving of the specification and delivery of high-quality rail services to 29 local transport authorities across the North of England.

"Passengers will also benefit from staff at more stations, free Wi-Fi on trains, better customer information on board and at stations, support for West Yorkshire's MCard tickets and automatic compensation for season ticket holders when things go wrong. And, of course, we'll see the end of Pacer units by 2020.

"Train services are used for over 30 million journeys each year in West Yorkshire alone. They are a key component of our plans to create a comprehensive, integrated transport network, which includes buses, cycling and metro-style light rail services. I look forward to working with Arriva, First and Rail North to deliver a world-class railway to support people, businesses and the economy across the North of England."