Stations and trains across the North of England to be fitted with life saving defibrillators

Railway stations and trains across the north of England and Scotland will have life-saving defibrillators installed, to help customers who suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest.

All 19 TransPennine Express (TPE) managed stations will be equipped with at least one of the devices under the new roll out. Busier stations including Manchester Airport and Huddersfield will receive two defibrillators. Alongside this, all 44 of their brand-new Nova fleets of trains will also have defibrillators installed on board.

Through the Rail Station Alliance, which was formalised in April, defibrillators will also be installed at all Greater Manchester stations. An initial wave of six stations on the Northern estate (including Wigan Wallgate, Horwich Parkway, Eccles, Romiley, Levenshulme and Hindley), complements TPE’s work at the Airport and Stalybridge, and builds on the twenty existing Greater Manchester rail stations which already have defibrillators available.

The devices will be prominently located in stations with access using a key code available from the local ambulance services. To ensure that any member of staff or a customer can make use of them until emergency services arrive, each defibrillator provides audio guidance to talk users through the process.

A defibrillator is a device which delivers a high-energy electric shock to help restore a stable heart rhythm. After a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces someone’s chance of survival by 10 per cent making the devices truly life-saving for train passengers.

Funding for the TPE defibrillators was provided by a collaboration between Network Rail, TfGM, as part of the Greater Manchester Rail Stations Alliance Partnership and Grand Central. With TfGM contributing towards Manchester Airport and Stalybridge and Grand Central contributing towards Thirsk and Northallerton. Within Greater Manchester more broadly, funding for the defibrillator programme will include a mixture of TfGM, Network Rail and Northern.

Charlie French, Accessibility and Integration Manager at TransPennine Express commented: “We are very happy to be able to provide a defibrillator at the majority of our stations as well as on-board our upcoming Nova trains. We want all our customers to feel safe when they travel, with the comfort of knowing that should they need it, a defibrillator is on hand to provide life-saving treatment until the emergency services arrive”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “I am delighted to see the introduction of defibrillators across many of Greater Manchester’s rail stations. As I know from personal experience these devices really do save lives. With a heart attack every second counts and having defibrillators within easy access across our transport network will enable more people to be helped to reach hospital where they can receive proper treatment.

“This project is a great example of the Greater Manchester Rail Stations Alliance Partnership in action. Lots of hard work has gone in to making this a reality and I’d like to thank everyone involved.”

Anna-Jane Hunter, Director for North of England rail at Network Rail said: “The installation of defibrillators at stations across the North will not only help save lives, but it will also make these well-used transport hubs more valuable and responsive to the communities they serve. Network Rail is proud to have played a part in this worthy Greater Manchester stations alliance initiative that is putting passengers first.”