1. Last operational Pacer train retired by Northern

    The final "Pacer" train to be run by operator Northern has finally been retired, the company has confirmed.

    The train

    On Friday, the final passenger train marked the end of more than 35 years of service - clocking up 300 million miles - in the north of England.

    Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: "While they have served us well and provided some communities with rail services they may have otherwise lost, it is time to give them a well-earned rest."

    The first Pacers were built in 1984 to create reliable and affordable trains to replace ageing diesels from the 1950s and 1960s, the National Railway Museum said.

    Based on a Leyland National bus, many of the fittings are shared by both vehicles.

  2. Video content

    Video caption: The outdated carriage made its final Northern journey from Kirkby to Manchester Victoria
  3. Broken-down train causes service disruption

    Services between Middlesbrough and Newcastle are being delayed in that direction for about 45 minutes.

    Northern Rail says it is due to a broken-down train between Sunderland and Newcastle.

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  4. The big cover-up: Passengers must wear masks to travel

    People using most forms of public transport are getting used to face-coverings, which have become mandatory for almost all passengers.

    Exceptions include young children, people with disabilities and those with breathing difficulties, and people who don't comply can now be refused travel or given a fine.

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    The bus company Stagecoach has upgraded its app, to help people to avoid buses that cannot take any more passengers because of social distancing, with a traffic light system of red, amber and green...

    Quote Message: That app will identify for you which bus is likely to be full or up to capacity and which bus is likely to be empty, and so there's a greater chance of you being able to travel." from Tom Waterhouse operations director, Stagecoach Cumbria
    Tom Waterhouseoperations director, Stagecoach Cumbria
  5. Train company rebrands rolling stock in NHS tribute

    The rail company Northern has put special livery on four of its trains as a tribute to the NHS and its staff.

    Train with special livery
  6. Northern rail timetable changes for key workers

    Northern rail services have been tweaked to help NHS workers get to hospitals, the company has said.

    Northern train

    The timetable changes include:

    • The Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Oxford Road service leaving 10 minutes earlier from 06:10 to help staff get to Trafford General Hospital.
    • More trains between Preston and Blackpool North to help key workers at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
    • The current Southport to Stalybridge service will now operate between Southport and Manchester Oxford Road via Deansgate to help staff get to the new Nightingale hospital in Manchester
  7. North East 'snubbed' over future of troubled Northern Rail

    Daniel Holland

    Local Democracy Reporter

    North East council bosses have criticised a government decision not to add some political leaders to a group considering the future of Northern Rail.

    The struggling rail franchise was brought under public control at the beginning of March after years of complaints of overcrowded and unreliable services.

    But North East council bosses are angry at being left off a panel set up to advise on the overhaul of the network, with Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes complaining that the region had been “wiped off the map”.

    It has now emerged that Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has declined to create another seat at the table, saying it was “simply not possible to cover all groups and regions”.

    Northern train

    Conservative Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen and Darlington Council leader Heather Scott will sit on the panel, alongside politicians from Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool as well as passenger representatives and industry leaders.

    But there remains no place for any members of the North East’s seven northernmost local councils and two combined authorities, stretching from County Durham to Northumberland.

    Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon, who chairs the North East Joint Transport Committee, told Mr Shapps in a letter the omission “sends the clear message to travellers in our area that they do not count”.

    But Mr Shapps replied: “We have consciously chosen to invite only a small group of members to the panel. It is neither a representative nor political body in any formal sense and it is not part of the formal governance of the company.

    "That formal role is one that Transport for the North (TfN) fulfils along with Rail North Partnerships within the industry and the management relationships with the Department.

    “When selecting members of the panel, we sought to ensure that there is a representation from the east and west of the Pennines and importantly that we have the correct gender balance."

  8. Northern closes waiting rooms and opens station barriers

    Rail operator Northern has closed all waiting rooms at its stations, opened all gates and barriers and suspended issuing penalty fares until further notice.

    Manchester Victoria

    The firm, which manages dozens of stations across the north of England, said the closure of waiting rooms was in line with government advice, adding that in the event of bad weather, it would "review the situation and may look to re-open areas if appropriate".

    A spokesman added that the opening of gates would mean "passengers do not have to pass paper or season tickets through the barriers or present them to staff", though customers still required a ticket to travel.

    Commercial and customer director Mark Powles said:

    Quote Message: Our trains and stations remain open for business to help key workers get where they need to be across the north of England.
    Quote Message: For those who have to make essential journeys – and for our staff who continue to work across the network – we want to make the railway as safe as possible [and] the measure we have introduced today further limit person-to-person contact.
    Quote Message: Our ticket offices remain open to provide help and advice to passengers [but] we will only accept payment via card. Customers who want to pay by cash will be asked to use ticket machines if they are available.

    The firm is currently running an amended timetable for key workers and essential travel across all its services.

  9. Coronavirus: Public transport operators reduce services

    Stephanie Finnon

    BBC Newcastle

    Public transport operators are reducing services from today because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Rail travel throughout the region will be significantly reduced due to a combination of a fall in demand and government-imposed restrictions.

    LNER, TransPennine, Grand Central, and Northern are all now working to reduced timetables.

    Tyne and Wear Metro and local bus services have also brought in revised timetables.

    Passengers are advised to check before they travel.

    The Department of Transport says it wants to provide a more reliable service for key worker heroes, such as emergency services and healthcare professionals so "core services" will still run, ensuring people can travel to medical appointments and to allow vital goods to be shipped around the country where needed.

    Tyne and Wear Metro
  10. Union demands Northern Rail stay in public hands

    Jill Archbold

    BBC Look North

    Rail Unions are protesting at stations throughout the region calling for northern services to stay in public hands.

    Northern Rail formally returned to public ownership on Sunday, but the RMT union wants a commitment to keep it state-owned rather than return it to the private sector.

    Demonstrations are being staged at Newcastle, Carlisle and York.

    Northern was nationalised after the government said passengers had "lost trust in the north's rail network".

    Northern train
  11. Government set to take over Northern franchise

    The government will take control of train operator Northern's franchise this weekend.

    A Northern train

    From Sunday, services previously operated by Northern will be run by the government-controlled Operator of Last Resort.

    The operator has been run by Arriva Rail North, but its franchise was stripped back in January after years of major disruption.

    At the time, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said passengers had "lost trust in the North's rail network".

    Although the name of the operator will change on Sunday, branding on trains won't change and staff will keep their jobs.

  12. Train companies in 'Do not travel' warning

    Passengers are being told not to travel on the trains today across Yorkshire because of the adverse weather.

    Storm Ciara has brought high winds and rain to much of the UK, leading to localised flooding and disruption.

    Train companies, including Northern, are asking people not to travel today.

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  13. Travel: Trains cancelled on Sunday as storm threatens

    BBC News Travel

    The train operating company Northern says trains along the Cumbrian Coast between Barrow and Carlisle will be cancelled on Sunday.

    Storm Ciara is forecast to bring winds gusting at around 70mph and heavy rain, and the rail line runs just above the shores of the Irish Sea for long stretches.