Northern announces 50 new trains to serve Leeds and Sheffield

Rail company Northern has announced that dozens of new trains are to enter circulation in Yorkshire.

The company, which is in the process of getting rid of its old Pacer carriages, said 50 new trains were to be introduced to the lines in West and South Yorkshire.

They will begin transporting passengers from Sunday, December 15.

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A further 49 new trains will be introduced in 2020.

Northern has announced plans for nearly 100 new train carriages to join its fleet over the next year

The new carriages come with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, power charging points and information screens with live service updates.

Northern said the new carriages were also more spacious, with more room for wheelchairs and bikes.

Steve Hopkinson, Northern’s Regional Director said: “The Northern network is busier than it has been for a generation – more than 100 million customer journeys will be made on Northern services in 2019 – and the introduction of new trains is at the heart of delivering improvements for our customers.

“We are delighted, therefore, that customers travelling through South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the East Midlands will now be served by brand new trains.

A Northern train

“These fantastic trains are a true step-change in travelling experience and we are extremely proud to be delivering a £500m investment for our customers.”

The new trains are part of a huge modernisation programme to regenerate public transport networks in the north of England, while the issue is a key point highlighted by the two major parties ahead of next week's election.

The Conservative Party has pledged £4.2bn for a new transport fund which would benefit combined authorities in West Yorkshire and the Sheffield City Region.

Labour, meanwhile, has its flagship policy of the nationalisation of the country's rail networks.

The company announced recently that three Pacer carriages had now permanently left the network

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, added: “We are looking to grow our economy in a way where everyone gets a full opportunity to succeed – and also in a sustainable way. Trains are a very energy efficient and carbon friendly way to transport passengers around our Region and beyond.

“We are now seeing the promised investment and so today is a day for celebration. It is the start of a new era of rail travel in South Yorkshire and I warmly welcome it on behalf of all businesses.”