First North Western

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File:First North Western 1.JPG
Franchise(s): North West Regional Railways
2. March 1997 – 12. December 2004
Main region(s): North West
Other region(s): North Wales, London, Yorkshire
Fleet size: 184
Stations: 247
Parent company: First Group
Web site: [http:// ]

First North Western was a train operating company in the United Kingdom serving North West England.[1] A subsidiary of First Group, it lost its franchise in 2004.

The company when first privatised was known as North Western Trains and was owned by Great Western Trains, which was a partnership between Great Western's management and First Group. Eventually First bought the management team out and renamed the company. North Western Trains took over from the British Rail sector North West Regional Railways, which was known for a short time as Network North West.

Their headquarters were in Whitworth St, Manchester city centre. Its train depot was at Newton Heath, between the Caldervale Line and the Oldham Loop Line.

Routes operated

First North Western services are now mainly operated by Northern Rail with Manchester Airport to Windermere/Barrow services are now operated by First TransPennine Express, Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno, Crewe to Holyhead, Bidston to Wrexham and Llandudno to Ffestiniog services operated by Arriva Trains Wales and Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston services operated by Virgin Trains.

The new Class 175 trains were used only on Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno (also one morning journey from Chester to Manchester via Altrincham which formed a service to Llandudno when it arrived at Manchester Piccadilly), Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead, Crewe to Holyhead, Birmingham to Holyhead, Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness, Manchester Airport to Windermere and Manchester Airport to Blackpool North. However Arriva Trains Wales runs the Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno, Holyhead, and Crewe to Holyhead. No services now run between Holyhead and Birmingham.

Rolling stock

Class Image Type Top speed Number Built
mph km/h
Class 101 101692 at Arley.JPG Diesel multiple unit 75 120 6 1956 - 1959
Class 142 Pacer 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 79 1985 - 1987
Class 150 Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 27 1985 - 1987
Class 153 Super Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 8 1987 - 1988
Class 156 Super Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 75 120 18 1987 - 1989
Class 158 Express Sprinter 100px Diesel multiple unit 90 145 8 1989 - 1992
Class 175 Coradia 100px Diesel multiple unit 100 160 27 1999 - 2001
Class 322 100px Electric multiple unit 100 160 4 1990
Class 323 100px Electric multiple unit 100 160 17 1992 - 1993


Template:S-start |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="2"|Preceded by
Regional Railways
As part of British Rail |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="2"|Operator of the North West Regional Railways franchise
1997 - 2004 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
Northern Rail
Northern franchise |- |- |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
First TransPennine Express
TransPennine franchise |- |}
Template:Defunct UK TOCs