Home Franchise News West Coast contest begins

West Coast contest begins

The DfT has announced four shortlisted bidders to run the West Coast Main Line from December 2012.

Abellio, FirstGroup, Keolis/ SNCF and Virgin go head to head to contest the franchise. The franchise is for 15 years and includes a commitment to provide 28,000 seats a day under a new flexible agreement which will allow further services to be scheduled around busy periods.

Says Transport Minister, Theresa Villiers, ‘Passengers will welcome the 28,000 additional seats this new franchise will deliver every day on what is becoming one of the UK’s busiest rail lines. A longer, more flexible franchise will encourage private sector investment, for example in improving stations. It will also promote greater efficiency to enable improvements to be made whilst driving down costs.’

The franchise winner will take on responsibility for 17 stations. The new franchise will commence in December and run until 2026, with an option to extend it for a further 20 months. The winner will be announced in August.

Under a section 54 agreement the franchise holder must continue to use Pendolinos until March 2022 and Voyagers until March, 2016. After this the franchisee is free to propose changes to the fleet.

The successful bidder will have the freedom to vary timetables on individual days in order to better meet demand. This is a major shift from the previous micro-management of the DfT.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recommended

3Squared wins major contract from HS2 contractor

A Yorkshire-based SME (small to medium enterprise) has been awarded a major contract working on High Speed Two (HS2), generating new jobs

Safer Travel Pledge helps protect passengers as train frequency increases

Free face coverings being handed out at London Waterloo station. As trains start to run more frequently and...

Special train livery says Thank You to key workers

Great Western Railway (GWR) has unveiled a special livery for one of its inter-city express trains, paying tribute to key workers for...

Network Rail “making a good start” to CP6, says ORR annual assessment

Rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has published its 2019-20 annual assessment of Network Rail and has found that...

Wimbledon depot gets its first Class 701 train

South Western Railway's (SWR) first Class 701 train has arrived at Wimbledon depot, marking a significant milestone in the £1 billion transformation...