Rail operator Northern Rail has secured a two-year extension of its franchise worth £530m ($759m) from the UK’s Department for Transport.
The 2004 contract to run train services in northern England, due to expire in September 2011, will now be extended until 15 September 2013.
Northern Rail has won the extension after beating performance targets for its 2,500 daily train services.
The UK’s biggest train operator said train services attracted 34% more passengers, increasing passenger journeys from 60 million per year to 85 million per year since the contract started, according to thenorthernecho.co.uk.
Northern Rail has also improved the punctuality of its train services from 83.7% running on time in the 12 months to December 2004 to 91.6% in the last year.