Franchise(s):Regional Railways North East
200112 December 2004
Main region(s):North East, Yorkshire
Other region(s):North West, North Midlands
Fleet size:169 until Feb 2004. 141 after.
Parent company:Arriva

Arriva Trains Northern was a train operating company that operated passenger trains in Northern England. The company had previously been known as Northern Spirit before being taken over Arriva.

The franchise was taken over by Northern Rail in December 2004.


Arriva took over MTL Group which owend Northern Spirit in February 2000, and the RRNE franchise was renamed 'Arriva Trains Northern' in April 2001.

Arriva Trains Northern operated a mix of long distance regional services and local urban & rural passenger services in the North of England, Arriva also operated the Transpennine Express franchise but on 1 February 2004, the service became a separate franchise, also incorporating some former First North Western routes. However, the new franchise did not include the Bradford to Blackpool service which remained with Arriva Trains Northern and has since become a York to Blackpool route operated by Northern Rail.

Arriva claimed to operate around 1,400 services every day, 1,000 of which pass through Leeds City station. They claimed to cover around 80,000 miles every day on a network which stretches from Hull and Scarborough on the East Coast across to Blackpool, Liverpool, and Manchester on the West Coast, and from Carlisle and Sunderland in the North to Sheffield and the North Midlands in the South. Most of their services are focused in and around Yorkshire.

During the first half of the franchise period, Arriva Trains Northern suffered many problems. First carried over from the Northern Spirit era, a shortage of drivers and rolling stock lead to many cancellations on a daily basis. An emergency timetable was later brought in which cancelled many services on a permenant basis rather than random as before. A long running dispute with the RMT union lead to strikes on over a dozen different days

Arriva Settle and Carlisle ServiceEdit

During 2003 and 2004 Arriva Trains Northern hired EWS-owned Class 37 locomotives for services over the Settle-Carlisle line, Arriva also used the loco hauled service between Leeds and Knaresborough and on summer Saturdays between York and Carlisle.

The Leeds - Settle - Carlisle route was mostly operated by 156's.

Arriva Trains Northern had initiated a twice daily Leeds — Glasgow Central service operated by a Class 158 DMU (calling at Settle, Carlisle, Lockerbie and Motherwell), but this was withdrawn due to industrial action at the TOC and never restored, and there remains no link from Yorkshire or the East Midlands to Glasgow over the line, and the link from Lancashire operates only on Sunday for the benefit of ramblers.

A proposal by Glasgow Trains would reverse this.


File:Arriva Trains Northern summer 2004 timetable for Settle to Carlisle.jpg
Class Image Type Top speed Number Built
mph km/h
Class 142 Pacer 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 6 1985 - 1987
Class 144 Pacer 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 23 1986 - 1987
Class 150 Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 10 1985 - 1987
Class 153 Super Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 20 1987 - 1988
Class 155 Super Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 7 1987
Class 156 Super Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 46 1987 - 1989
Class 158 Express Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 90 145 38 1989 - 1992
Class 308 100px Electric multiple unit 75 120 33 1961
Class 321/9 100px Electric multiple unit 100 160 3 1988 - 1991
Class 333 100px Electric multiple unit 100 160 16 2000


See Northern Rail.

Preceded by
Northern Spirit
Operator of the Regional Railways North East franchise
2001 - 2004
Succeeded by
Northern Rail
Northern franchise
Succeeded by
First TransPennine Express
Trans Pennine franchise