Rail bosses have made big promises as new franchises for services through Huddersfield were confirmed.

First TransPennine Express will continue to run services but the current Northern services will be taken over next year by Arriva.

The Northern network is the second largest in the UK and operates services across the region.

Under the new franchise, which runs from April 2016 to March 2025, Arriva Rail North will operate a number of new direct journeys such as between Bradford and Sheffield, Leeds and Chester, and Manchester Airport and Halifax.

Chris Burchell, managing director of Arriva’s UK Trains division, said: “We are proud to be given the opportunity to transform rail travel for passengers in the north of England and to work closely with our partners to connect towns, cities and communities like never before.

“We will be investing more than £1 billion to deliver a step-change in quality for customers and dramatically improving services, stations, information and ticketing. Our aim is to be the communities’ local railway and to leave a positive lasting legacy for the north of England.”

First TransPennine Express will run intercity services across the region and into Scotland from April next year until March 2023.

They will provide 125mph trains across the network as well as 220 new carriages.

There will be new direct trains from Liverpool to Glasgow from December 2018 and additional services from Manchester to Glasgow and Edinburgh from December 2017.

READ MORE: Big changes for rail passengers in Huddersfield as franchises are awarded

FirstGroup chief executive Tim O’Toole said: “Our new TransPennine Express franchise will deliver faster and more frequent intercity train services between the North’s major towns and cities and we are excited to help the Government achieve its vision for a Northern Powerhouse.

“Our plans include investment in new and refurbished trains on every part of the network, with millions more seats available, free wi-fi and simpler smart and mobile ticketing, allowing us to build on the success we have had over the past 11 years, in which we have more than doubled passenger journeys on the network.”