NORTHERN Rail has been granted an extension to its franchise to run local and regional rail services across northern England.
The decision by the Department for Transport means Northern will continue to operate services until April 1, 2014.
Its services include the Huddersfield-Sheffield route via Penistone and Barnsley.
Northern Rail managing director Ian Bevan said: “Since we began operating in 2004, we have worked hard to improve the service we offer our customers.”
Since its franchise began, Northern said it had increased the number of trains arriving on time from 83.7% to 91.9%; attracted 40% growth in passenger demand and introduced more carriages to ease overcrowding.
Northern said it will be improving the cleanliness of trains by upgrading the washing plants at depots.