Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Train Plan May See 5,400 Jobs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Train Plan May See 5,400 Jobs

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Kelly Reporter @MIKEJKELLY1962

AMULTI-BILLION pound plan to improve the UK's rail services could see a near 5,500 jobs boost in Newcastle in the next five years, it is claimed.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing train companies and Network Rail, claimed passengers will see a "transformation in their railway" over the next 18 months with new trains, better services and revamped stations.

It is reportedly a single, long-term plan that will secure almost PS85bn of extra economic benefits to the country and enable further improvements. It will include 6,400 extra services nationally - with space for an additional 40,000 people into Newcastle and other major northern cities at peak times.

On long-distance services, Virgin Trains East Coast will provide an additional 11,759 seats on arrivals throughout the day into Newcastle by 2022.

Forecasts by the Centre for Economics and Business Research indicated a 5,400 boost to jobs in Newcastle by 2022, said those behind the plan.

Chris Cunningham, general manager for Virgin Trains on the east coast route, said: "We know just how important the railway is to the long term future of both the economy of Newcastle and its communities.

"That's why today we're joining forces with other train companies to launch a plan to create a better railway.

"We're working with the rest of the industry to create better journeys for customers and more space for thousands of extra people. "In Newcastle that means improved journeys for customers and better connections for communities across the region. As an example, the arrival of our new Azuma trains from 2018 will bring over 11,000 more seats to customers in Newcastle by 2022."

David Brown, managing director at Northern, said: "The railway is key to Newcastle's' long-term prosperity. As our industry comes together with a single plan to drive change, we are investing to improve what matters most to our customers and the regional economy. We will deliver more capacity, improved services, faster journeys and a better customer experience that will better connect northerners with jobs, social and leisure opportunities. …

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