UK train operator Northern Rail has announced a procurement process for the supply and manufacturing services of 450 new trains and carriages for its network.

Northern aims to enter an agreement with a single supplier to meet the overall objectives and priorities of Northern Trains Limited (NTL) in accordance with a framework agreement.

According to the tender, available on the UK Government website, proposals to participate in the tender may be submitted until 25 September 2023.

Northern anticipates the tender will deliver a minimum design life of 35 years.

According to Northern, the new contract will allow the business to replace a sizable portion of its ageing fleet, allowing it to avoid spiralling expenses related to the operation, maintenance, repair, and leasing of an outdated inventory.

The operator aims for the process to deliver “medium-term and long-term value for the benefit of NTL, DfT, taxpayers, and its customers”.

Northern is set to order rolling stock and associated equipment with accompanying technical support and spares supply services across multiple phases.

The UK’s Rail Industry Association’s (RIA) technical director David Clarke put an emphasis on the importance of the rolling stock tender for the rail industry.

Clarke said: “With a recent RIA report calling on the government to take urgent decisions around rolling stock, we naturally welcome [this] significant tender of up to 520 low-carbon multiple units.

“The industry and the whole country will continue to benefit from these rolling stock orders as they will result not just in improved passenger experience but also help to retain valuable jobs, generate economic growth, reduce emissions and improve air quality.

“These tenders demonstrate a strong commitment to the future of the supply chain, resulting in a significant strengthening of the pipeline of work which will deliver modern trains equipped with cleaner technologies.”