THE TROUBLED Northern railway franchise could be renationalised today after months of deliberations.

Transport minister Grant Shapps handed the company a final ultimatum earlier in January when he called the service "unacceptable" and promised changed.

A decision on the franchise could see it either extended on a short-term contract or taken over by the government as the Operator of Last Resort.

This would be the second time such a switch has been implemented after the government took control of the Virgin East Coast franchise.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, a long time critic of Northern, said bringing operations under public control would be the correct decision.

In a tweet, he said: "For months, Steve Rotherham and I have called for Northern to be put under public control.

"If that’s what the government is proposing, it’s the right decision and evidence that Mayors are getting the voice of the North heard in Whitehall."

Northern, which goes by the official name Arriva Rail North, has a contract with the government which is currently due to end in 2025.

But, years of disruption have taken their toll on passengers and this dissatisfactions appears to have forced the government's hand.

In the last month, nearly one in ten trains have been cancelled or arrived more than 30 minutes late and only 72 percent have arrived within five minutes of their scheduled time.