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Serco says farewell to Northern Rail after 11 years

Published: 1 Apr 2016

Serco waved goodbye to Northern Rail, our joint venture with Abellio, on 31 March after 11 very successful years that have seen the service go from strength to strength.

During the contract, Northern Rail has run 850,000 services every year, increased the percentage of trains on time from 83 per cent to 91 per cent, refurbished every single train unit, and achieved a contract record customer satisfaction score of 84 per cent.

David Stretch, Serco’s Managing Director, Transport, said: “We have come to the end of a very special era as we say goodbye to such a great business and a truly dedicated team of people. I would like to thank Northern Rail Managing Director Alex Hynes and everyone in the team for having made such a massive contribution in making the current Northern Rail service such a huge success which has benefited thousands of people across the North of England. Their achievements have been tremendous and they have created a fantastic legacy for the new franchise and the next chapter in Northern Rail's fabulous history.  Everyone on the team, past and present, should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.”

Serco took over the Northern Rail Franchise with partner Abellio on 12 December 2004. Northern Rail is the largest train operator in Britain, providing 2,500 local and regional train services every day across the North of England, serving a population of nearly 15 million people. There are now 96 million passenger journeys made on the network each year, 47 per cent more than when the franchise started in December 2004. 

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Further highlights during the contract include working in partnership with Network Rail to get services running to a newly-built temporary stations at Workington in record time when Cumbria was devastated by floods in 2009, supporting the Tour de France in 2014 with an army of volunteers across the network to help hundreds of thousands of customers make the most of the iconic event, and launching the UK’s first Smart Wall at Harrogate station earlier this year to make buying a ticket as simple as possible for customers.

Serco’s transport portfolio includes Merseyrail, a Joint Venture with Abellio; the Caledonian Sleeper Service and NorthLink Ferries for Transport Scotland; Serco Rail Technical Services based in Derby; a JV ferry business in Stockholm (Djurgårdens Färjetrafik) with our partner Strömma Turism & Sjöfart.the Metro; Palm Jumeirah Monorail and the Al Sufouh Tram System in Dubai as well as an Automated People Mover at Dubai Airport; the provision of management and technical support to the Saudi Railway Company for the North South Railway and the Santander Cycle Hire Scheme for Transport for London. 


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