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Northern is the name given to the British railway franchise serving the north of England. The franchise was formed in 2004 by the merger of parts of the North West Regional Railways and Regional Railways North East franchises.



The first holder of the Northern franchise was Serco-Abellio.


Northern Rail.svg


Arriva Rail North Northern.svg

In 2016, the franchise was awarded to Arriva.

On 29 January 2020, the Department for Transport announced the franchise was to be taken over by an operator of last resort, taking effect from 1 March 2020. The existing Northern name and branding was retained.


Northern Trains.svg
North West Regional Railways
Regional Railways North East
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