A rail operator has announced today plans for train companies, passengers and local authorities to be involved in providing a better train service for the future.

Railtrack has pledged to examine ways on how to improve journeys across the trans-Pennine routes used by train operator Northern Spirit.

The move is part of a major revamp of services across the country.

This autumn a series of briefings for MPs, Councils and rail user groups will take place, which say Railtrack will help launch the service into the 21st Century.

Northern Spirit which runs locals trains across the region has welcomed the plans. Spokesman Howard Keel said the company was already ploughing "millions of pounds" into new rolling stock to run on lines.

He said: "More than £200,000 has been spent on a major overhaul of Skipton station, including new customer waiting facilities and a new travel centre.

"Around 180.000 has been spent improving facilities at Shipley station. We are also trialling mobile phones and related technology for conductors."

A spokesman for Railtrack London North Eastern said the plans were part of a major development for Bradford and the surrounding areas.

"We are hoping to improve tracks so railway companies can increase train capacity and complete journeys quicker to benefit passengers.

"And we are aiming to do this by taking a partnership approach by talking with groups including Northern Spirit, West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and commuters to see what they would like to see improved.

Other plans by Railtrack include:

re-opening of old stations and developing new stops

enhancing signalling

more frequent stopping trains

new tracks, points and crossings.

Councillor Latif Darr, chairman of the Transportation, Planning and Design Committee said he was delighted that Railtrack was proposing to consult with the council.

He said: "We look forward to discussing possible improvements to the service they currently provide, including ways of tailoring it better to needs of the travelling public."

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