Arriva will make a substantial investment in new and refurbished trains, which will see the introduction of 281 new carriages and the full refurbishment of the remaining fleet. We are the first operator to guarantee that all Pacer trains will be removed within three years, while by 2019 all passengers will be able to access free on-board WiFi.
We will introduce more services and faster journeys. More than 2,000 additional services each week will offer passengers greater choice, especially in the morning and evening peak periods, and at weekends. Our new Northern Connect network, a group of 12 enhanced routes linking major cities in the North, will launch in 2019.
Northern Connect will provide faster city connections and will offer free WiFi, plug sockets, tables and seat reservations for passengers. We will also invest in station improvements, customer service excellence and simpler ticketing options, giving greater flexibility. Customers have told us that they want to see more customer-facing people at Arriva Rail North. So we have committed to staffing 45 stations across the network which are currently unstaffed.
We will introduce new facilities at 243 stations that will make it simpler to buy tickets and access information. Seating and waiting areas will be refurbished at 355 locations, and we will upgrade CCTV security, introduce video help points and install new customer information screens as part of our extensive station upgrade plans.
Our aim is to deliver transformational change for our customers. We want Arriva Rail North to be the communities’ local railway and most of all, to leave a lasting legacy for the north of England.