The final "Pacer" train to be run by operator Northern has finally been retired, the company has confirmed.
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.
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
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."
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”.
Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coronavirus: Public transport operators reduce services
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.
Union demands Northern Rail stay in public hands
BBC Look North
Rail Unions are protesting at stations throughout the region calling for northern services to stay in public hands.