The north of England needs fast, high capacity and high quality rail connections. Right Track North is a new campaign committed to making this a reality.
Investing in the north of England’s railways would bring massive benefits for the economy and communities right across the region. The north of England’s rail network matters. Together, Northern Rail and Trans-Pennine Express serve 15 million people and 25 per cent of the country's economy, including the cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.
The Government claims to understand this. The promise of major investment is at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse, the new Northern Rail and TransPennine Express franchises (due to begin in 2016) and Network Rail’s current Rail Investment Strategy, which runs from 2014 to 2019.
But parts of these plans are now at risk of unravelling. Key projects have been shelved and other much needed investments are under pressure. Underperformance at Network Rail means several billions of pounds of investment are now ‘paused’ with no timetable for when they will be resumed. So far, investment in rail schemes connected with the Northern Powerhouse is currently less than 25 per cent of the £13bn that the Government has claimed.
"I'm very pleased to support Right Track North. Investing in modern trains, decent stations and more frequent services would be a huge boost for better, greener transport right across the north of England. I hope you'll join me in getting behind the campaign."
Michael Palin, President of Campaign for Better Transport
We want to see investment in better trains and better rail services across the north of England, connecting communities, supporting the economy and make sure passengers and taxpayers get the best value for money.
Right Track North is a partnership of passengers, local authorities, businesses and Campaign for Better Transport dedicated to achieving this. As a result of our campaigning and pressure from other like-minded groups, the previous Government said it would deliver fast, high capacity and high quality rail connections across the north of England.
But this important commitment is now under threat.
We want to see urgent action from the Government to stick to its commitments and support rail investment in the north of England.
If you would like to get involved in the Right Track North campaign, please:
- Email us if you have been affected by the new evening peak fares on Northern Rail. We want to gather as many examples as possible, to help us make our case. Are you now paying more or have you been priced off the railway, or have you been hit with an excess or penalty fare due to confusing new restrictions? Please contact email@example.com.
- Read up on the issues: our briefing on rail in the north, our mythbuster and our Right Track North charter have the lowdown
- Sign up for our e-bulletin: Campaign for Better Transport's monthly e-bulletin will keep you up to date with the campaign and how you can make your voice heard
- Keep up to date: Follow @RightTrackNorth on Twitter to keep bang up to date with campaign developments
The Right Track North Charter is supported by 20 organisations representing passengers, local authorities, businesses, environment groups and Campaign for Better Transport. If you represent such a group and you would like to find out more about the Charter please get in touch.
- Download the Right Track North Charter
- Download our myth buster report
- Download our briefing on rail in the North
- Download our 2015 report, 'Stepping Stones to a rebalanced Britain' (or a three-page summary)
December 2015: The new franchises have been announced. From April next year TransPennine Express will be run by First Group and Northern Rail by Arriva. We strongly welcome the big upgrades that are promised - in particular, the commitment to buy new trains. The promise of extra services and better stations with more staff is also good news and we're pleased that the 'Rail North' grouping of councils will get some control over the new franchises. However, this should only be the start. The north deserves a truly modern, electric rail network, with fast and frequent trains between the cities, London-style smartcards and integration with buses and other transport. We will keep up the pressure.
September 2015: After much campaigning by us - and many hundreds of emails being sent to the Chancellor through our website - the Government announced that electrification of the TransPennine line and Midland Mainline would now be restarted.
July 2015: Ambitious plans for rail in the North of England are at risk. Key rail projects have been shelved and investment is not reaching promised levels. Find out more.
27 February 2015: The Government published details of the Invitation to Tender for the Northern Rail and TransPennine Express franchises. Lots of good news, including the scrapping of the decrepit Pacers. The messy and confusing fares structure will be replaced with a zonal system more like London's. There will be more seats not just for commuters, but for those who want to travel at weekends, too. Find out more.
26 January 2015: We launched our report, Stepping Stones to a rebalanced Britain
21 November 2014: Now there is a once in a generation chance to transform the north's rail network. Please email your MP.
20 November 2014: Key decisions looming for north's rail network
7 November 2014: The Prime Minister announced that the decrepit Pacer trains will definitely be replaced as part of the Northern Rail Franchise renewal
28 October 2014: We handed more than 4,000 petition signatures to the Government (pictured at top of page)
22 October 2014: We showed how the conditions attached to Northern Rail's evening peak fares could be illegal