Northern rail prepares to welcome back army of commuters after covid pandemic

Northern is preparing for the return of commuters as 78% of rail users in the North say they will be turning to trains when pandemic restrictions are fully lifted.
Northern is ready to welcome back commutersNorthern is ready to welcome back commuters
Northern is ready to welcome back commuters

To help welcome customers back to the railway, Northern, which serves Tyne and Wear, Teesside, County Durham and Northumberland, said it is continuing improvement work across its network, with enhancements made to trains, stations and ways of buying tickets.

In the past 12 months the train operator said it has introduced its fleet of new trains, completed the refurbishment of older trains and delivered millions of pounds worth of improvements at stations.

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Mark Powles customer and commercial director at Northern, said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we’ve used the past year to deliver a much-improved network for them to return to.

“Research has shown almost 80% of people are expecting to return to offices when restrictions are lifted and those who use our services to get to work will undoubtedly notice some significant enhancements.”

He said Northern is also taking extra care to ensure its trains and stations are as clean as possible for its customers.

He added more than 600 dedicated cleaning staff are working on trains and at stations with a particular focus on touch points (tables, buttons and toilets), and face coverings are mandatory on all trains and at stations.

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“Whether you are returning to rail for the first time, have travelled with us recently but are returning to a commute, or are a key worker who has travelled with us consistently during the pandemic, you can travel with Northern with confidence,” Mark said.

“We know cleanliness, now more than ever, is vitally important for our customers.

"We’ve invested in more cleaning staff than ever before and our enhanced cleaning regime is designed to protect customers and staff by reducing the potential risk of transmission.