Amey has become the first rail infrastructure company to be awarded a rail franchising pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) passport from the Department for Transport (DfT).
On June 23, the DfT published bidder shortlists for the West Coast Partnership and future South Eastern franchise agreements. At the same time it announced that both SNCF and Amey Rail had successfully applied for PQQ passports.
Amey – which is owned by Spanish multinational company Ferrovial – operates the Docklands Light Railway with Keolis, and from July the joint venture will also operate Manchester’s Metrolink. But the PQQ award from the DfT is a first for Amey and a first for the PQQ process.
Amey sector director Lee Jones said, ‘This is a significant milestone for our rail business and it’s a testament to the exceptional work we’ve delivered in the sector over the past few decades. We’re really excited about taking on more passenger rail services and providing even better journeys for the travelling public.’
What is a rail franchising PQQ passport?
The Department for Transport says companies are awarded rail franchising PQQ passports once they have proven they can provide high standards of safety, integrity and professionalism, as well as exemplary technical and management abilities.
Introduced in 2015, PQQ passports last for four years and allow applicants to express their interest in all future franchise competitions without the need to submit the same information each time.
Amey will now be able to tender for opportunities to run full passenger rail services and operate stations in addition to the operational and asset management services they already deliver on behalf of rail providers and train operating companies.
The following companies currently have rail franchising PQQ passports:
- Abellio Transport Group
- Amey Rail
- Arriva UK Trains
- East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Company (Consortium)
- First Rail Holdings
- Go-Ahead Holding
- Keolis (UK)
- Metroline Rail
- MTR Corporation (UK)
- National Express Trains
- SNCF C3
- Stagecoach Group
- Virgin Holdings
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