Home Franchise News

Franchise News

DfT announces plans to split two franchises

The Great Western and Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchises could be split under new government plans. Rail minister Paul Maynard said the scheme would...

Tender launched for South Eastern franchise

The competition to find the next train operating company (TOC) to run the South Eastern franchise has been launched by the Department for Transport...

Watch crews overhaul the interior of a TPE Class 185

Siemens workers have completed the first five refurbishments of TransPennine Express' (TPE) fleet of 51 three-carriage Class 185 trains. Each train is having new seating,...

UK transport secretary ‘absolutely certain’ Class 707s have a future

The UK’s Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, says he is 'absolutely certain' that the South West route's Class 707 Desiro City trains...

Department for Transport to extend East Midlands rail franchise until August 2019

East Midlands Trains (EMT) will now run services on the East Midlands franchise until at least August 2019 after the Department for Transport (DfT)...

Amey becomes first rail infrastructure company to get rail franchising PQQ passport from DfT

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,...

Rail Franchising – Live at Leeds

Top rail and community leaders came together in Leeds last month to discuss new thinking about creating the sustainable railway of the future. Sustainability -...

New trains for the North… and that’s just for starters

Pledges to significantly improve services and buy new trains aren’t ‘PR fluff ’ but promises of real change, says Northern’s Alex Hynes (pictured right). On...

GTR – Dawn of the mega franchise

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) chief executive Charles Horton talks to Marc Johnson about how the operator is addressing the service challenges posed by Thameslink’s...

First Great Western – Golden years

FirstGroup has managed to steady investor nervousness with news that it has won extensions to two of its franchises. The flagship operation, First Great Western...

The role of open access

Britain’s rail network is full. Well that’s what we’re often told. The justification for major rail projects, like HS2, is that it will free...

Virgin East Coast – The song remains the same

With its customary razzamatazz, the Virgin/Stagecoach operation took over East Coast on 1 March. An Intercity 225 in full Virgin East Coast livery arrived...

Wake up call for Auld Alliance

The Auld Alliance looks set to ride again with the appointment of top French chef, Albert Roux, to spearhead Scots cuisine on the new Caledonian...

Scotland’s new railway

Amongst many other improvements, the next ScotRail franchise is to have faster more comfortable trains connecting its seven cities with scenic trains on tourist...

Longer trains for West Coast

More trains and direct services between Birmingham Airport and Glasgow will expand Anglo-Scottish services from december 2013. A comprehensive timetable overhaul will provide an extra...

McLoughlin restarts franchise programme

The DfT is to push ahead with a new franchising programme after digesting Richard Brown’s review – conducted in the wake of the West...

Leadership needed

Drive and leadership at the most senior level will be needed to strengthen the DfT and deliver the next round of passenger railway franchising. In...

Derby debut

The first vehicle of Southern’s 26 five-car class 377/6s has been completed at Bombardier’s Derby works. Static testing of the first train commences in February....