NORTHERN Rail IS to introduce electric trains into the North West from December 2014.

The news follows hot on the heels of the Direct Award enabling Northern to continue operating services until February 2016.

The four-carriage electric trains will operate between Liverpool and Manchester via Newton le Willows on the newly electrified route, part of the £400million North West electrification programme.

The first trains will be introduced from December 2014, with more entering service during 2015. In total the trains will deliver an extra 3,000 seats for passengers during peak times of travel.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director, Northern Rail said: “This is fantastic news for our customers. These electric trains will bring much needed extra capacity, more reliable and sustainable journeys.

“More trains also bring job opportunities as we recruit more people to crew and maintain them.

“This is the first step to unlocking more capacity for customers across the north of England. We’re committed to continuing our work with our partners to campaign for more trains, better trains and electric trains for our customers.”

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: “This is great news for passengers and underlines our commitment to transform rail travel in the north.

"These electric trains will mean cleaner, quicker and more reliable journeys for thousands more passengers between Manchester and Liverpool, driving forward the economies of these two great cities.

"I look forward to further improvements as more trains are introduced.”