The government has confirmed that it intends to replace 30-year-old Lincoln to Sheffield Pacer trains.
The Pacer trains are currently operated by Northern Rail and were only meant as a short-term measure when they were built in the 1980s.
Companies bidding for the government’s new rail franchises in the north of England will be required to replace them by 2020, the Department for Transport said.
Northern franchise bidders have until June 26, 2015 to submit their bids.
Other planned improvements include the introduction of a brand new fleet of modern trains, tackling overcrowding, and investing in stations.
Successful bidders will also have to introduce free wi-fi on its services and increase the overall capacity of northern lines by a third.
In total, 200 new train services will be added daily to the Northern and TransPennine network.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This is great news for passengers who will finally get a rail service that matches up to the booming economy in this region. That means more seats, more services and a brand new fleet of modern trains.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg added: “Improving rail links in the region has been much anticipated. These old trains have been rattling across rails in the north for over 30 years; a constant source of complaint which have held the region back.”