The Strategic Rail Authority has agreed terms for Arriva Trains Northern to continue running rail services until new franchises are awarded.

A new TransPennine Express franchise will start in late 2003 and will include existing ATN inter-urban together with ATN and First North Western services to Manchester Airport.

A new Northern Rail franchise will start in the summer of 2004 and will provide inter-urban, commuter and rural services throughout the whole of the North of England, including Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear.

Connex Transport UK and First Group/Keolis SA are in the running for the TransPennine Express franchise.

Existing First North Western services to North Wales are expected to transfer to the interim Wales and Borders franchise in September 2003.

Info from Strategic Rail Authority. 4.02.03