Extra carriages are to be laid on to improve trains between Sheffield and Manchester – but fares are to rise on most services from January 2.
First TransPennine Express, which runs one of two fast services each hour between the cities, is to lengthen many of its trains from three to four coaches.
The first of our its new trains enter passenger service on Monday, on plan and on schedule, says the operator.
There is a new timetable in May, as planned, that will see a 30 per cent capacity for Sheffield.
The new trains and timetable project is completely on schedule and as communicated, said a spokesman.
Passengers on all services except those operated by East Coast will see ‘walk-up’ fares bought on the day of travel increase by up to three per cent, just below a cap of 3.1 per cent set by the Government.
East Coast is freezing ‘walk-up’ fares.
Nick Donovan, managing director of First TransPennine Express, said: “We recognise that any fare increase is not ideal but it is important to continually invest.”
The company said it is freezing all its advance fares at 2013 prices, meaning tickets between Manchester and Sheffield are available from £5, but ‘walk-up’ fares will rise by three per cent.
East Midlands Trains, which runs Sheffield to London services, is increasing ‘walk-up’ fares and season tickets by an average of 2.6 per cent but freezing 17 per cent of advanced fares.
The company said the increase will be its lowest in four years and its passengers are benefiting from £30 million of investment refurbishing trains plus major track improvements.
David Horne, managing director of East Midlands Trains, said: “We are investing fares directly in initiatives that will provide passengers with easier, more punctual, and more comfortable journeys.”
South Yorkshire’s biggest local train operator, Northern, is increasing fares by 2.8 per cent.
A Northern spokeswoman said: “This is the equivalent of 10 to 20 pence per single journey and will go towards meeting the costs of providing our services and funding further improvements, including newer trains and faster journeys.”