Protect Northern rail services and Northern jobs!

Rail services, jobs and passenger safety in Northern England are under threat by a new Northern Rail franchise beginning on 1 April.

The TUC and rail unions’ Action for Rail campaign is calling for a decent and properly staffed railway for the North.

Come along to our rally on 31 March in Manchester and make your voice heard!

31 MARCH 2016, 18:00-20:00

Andy McDonald MP, Shadow Rail Minister
Lisa Nandy MP
Lynn Collins, Regional Secretary, North West TUC
Mick Whelan, General Secretary, ASLEF
Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT
Steve Coe, Organising Director, TSSA

Bill Adams, Regional Secretary, Yorkshire and the Humber TUC


The new Northern Rail franchise agreement proposes “driver-only operation” and axing guards from 50 per cent of rail services. This threatens passenger services and safety, while there is an ever-present threat of more station de-staffing and ticket office closures.

The new franchise has been awarded to Arriva Rail North, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, owned by the German government. While the franchise is being presented as a stage in the increasingly discredited “northern powerhouse”, the reality will be cuts to jobs and services with profits directed to support German state railways. As a German transport spokesperson has said:

“We’re skimming profit from the entire Deutsche Bahn and ensuring that it is anchored in our budget – that way we can make sure it is invested in the rail network here in Germany.”

There is no basis for cost-cutting on railways in the north, but a major need for investment. Passenger demand for railways in the north will soar by over 50 per cent over the next 15 years, according to estimates by Rail North, a body comprised of 29 northern councils. Yet currently passengers are crowded into old worn-out trains and, along with other passengers throughout the UK, pay some of the most expensive fares in Europe.

The new franchise is to be jointly managed by the government and Rail North.

The rally is part of our wider campaign work to prevent cuts to staffing and services.

Action for Rail