Bidders for Cross Country, East Midlands and West Midlands franchises announced

19 September 2006

ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman greeted news of the bidders for these franchises as ‘another saga of wasteful and pointless activity that will benefit neither employees nor the travelling public’. He said the union will take every opportunity to remind delegates to next week’s Labour Party Conference of the party’s policy – agreed twelve months ago - to take franchises back into public hands as they expire.


The Department for Transport said today that the following have qualified as bidders:





Arriva Trains Cross Country Limited (Arriva Group)


First Cross Country Limited (First Group)


NXC Trains Limited (National Express Group)


Virgin Voyager Trains Ltd (Virgin Rail Group)




Arriva Trains East Midlands Limited (Arriva Group)


First East Midlands Limited (First Group)


NXE Trains Limited (National Express Group)


Stagecoach Midland Rail Limited (Stagecoach Group)




London& Birmingham Railway Limited (Govia)


MTR Corporation (UK) Limited (MTR Corporation of Hong Kong)


Serco NedRailways West Midlands Limited (a Joint Venture between Serco and NedRailways)


In addition Chiltern Railways (M40 Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of John Laing plc) is being invited to submit a separate proposal for the Snow Hill services in Birmingham.


The Department for Transport (DfT) issued an advertisement in June 2006 inviting Expressions of Interest in the franchises by 31 July 2006. It will now invite the parties to submit detailed bids by issuing Invitations to Tender during Autumn 2006. The closing date for bids is February 2007 and 'winners' will be announced in Summer 2007.


The three new operating franchises will commence on 11 November 2007. End dates of the three new franchises have been phased to match end dates with other relevant franchises.

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