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Railhub Archive
2000-03-08 SRA-001
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority


Areas defined for second franchise replacement round

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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

Areas defined for second franchise replacement round

8 March 2000
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

Details of the three parts of the rail network on which the second round of
franchise replacement negotiations will be based were announced by Mike
Grant, Chief Executive of the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (SSRA), today.
Today's announcement follows an invitation by the SSRA to existing and
potential operators to submit proposals under one or more of six strategic
themes (for details, see notes to editors).

The three sectors identified today for replacement negotiations are:-
· Replacement of the Central Trains franchise, with an option to include or
exclude services which extend north west and west of Shrewsbury, including
those that extend into Birmingham.
Proposals should also provide, within the franchise, for the creation of
aseparate business unit focused on serving the West Midlands travel-to-work
· Replacement of the existing South West Trains franchise, with the option to
include or exclude services between Waterloo and Salisbury / Exeter.
· Creation of a new Trans-Pennine franchise comprising the inter-urban, fast
services currently operated by Northern Spirit Ltd.

A fourth area, Wales and the borders, is under discussion but requires
further study before the nature of the proposed franchise is announced, in
three months time.

The objective of the current programme of negotiations is to replace most of
the shorter franchises (expiring by 2004) within about two years.

A third tranche of franchise negotiations is expected to follow in the summer
drawing further o n the responses received to the Franchising Director's earlier
invitation for strategic proposals from the industry.

Mike Grant, Franchising Director and SSRA Chief Executive, said:
" Following receipt of several proposals from the industry, some of them very
innovative, I have chosen two of the most congested, and investment needy
areas - South West and Central - as my priorities for the second round of
replacement talks.

" I am also including the Trans - Pennine route, because of its strategic
importance in linking major centres in the North and its potential for relieving
motorway congestion.

" I expect keen interest from parties wishing to pre - qualify to bid for these

" A fourth area currently under consideration is Wales where, following
consultation with the Assembly, I have commissioned a detailed feasibility
study to establish whether a dedicated 'Wales Rail' franchise could serve the
interests of Wales and the border counties more effectively".

There will be a short pre - qualification process for interested parties and
applications should be made to Nick Newton, the Executive Director,
Franchise Management, at the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority, Golding's
House, 2 Hay's Lane, London SE1 2HB (tel. 020 7940 4200) in the first
instance. Interested parties should note that the pre-qualification deadline for
the second group of franchises has been set for 24 March 2000.

Notes to Editors
1. Maps of the franchise areas defined today are attached. These maps are
intended to give an indication of the new franchise propositions, they do not
show all the stations or lines likely to be served by the replacement
2. In December 1999, the SSRA invited existing and would be operators to
submit proposals aimed at improving passenger rail services in six areas of
strategic interest. The areas were:
· Planning and implementing the Thameslink 2000 network of services North,
South and through central London.
· Improving London commuter services and easing capacity constraints at
Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Paddington.
· Relieving regional capacity bottlenecks around Birmingham and Manchester.
· Introducing new services around London making use of the East, North and
West London lines.
· Serving the interests of Wales and the North West more effectively.
· Recognising the value of inter-urban trans-Pennine services.
3. By 1 February 2000, the SSRA had received 36 submissions from 18
substantial groups covering all, one, or a combination of the six areas above.
4. Details of the three franchises as currently operated are as follows:
Central Trains
The existing Central Trains franchise operates a variety of passenger services
covering a wide geographical area of central England, Wales and East Anglia.
These services are largely based around a Birmingham hub and extend to,
amongst other places - Norwich, Cambridge, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Liverpool
and Sheffield. They fall broadly into the following categories:
· Inter-urban services between major regional conurbations.
· Birmingham commuter services provided to the Passenger Transport
Executive (Centro).
· Rural stopping services that fall outside of the inter-urban and commuter
services e.g. Derby-Matlock.
· Central Trains also provides contract services to Nottinghamshire County
Council (The Robin Hood line) and Leicestershire County Council (The
Ivanhoe line).

South West Trains
South West Trains operates an extensive network providing a mixture of main
line and suburban passenger services. Services are operated from London
Waterloo, the hub of the network, and extend as far as Exeter, Weymouth,
Reading and Windsor. The franchise serves a number of commercial centres,
tourist attractions and resorts. The majority of its revenue is derived from
commuters and (to a lesser extent) leisure and business travel. Capacity
constraints at London Waterloo pose a significant and growing obstacle to the
development of the services provided by this franchise, and proposals for a
replacement franchise will be expected to include effective and cost - efficient
plans to ease these constraints.

Trans-Pennine Express
Northern Spirit currently provides a variety of passenger services to meet a
range of journey purposes in northern England. Inter-urban services operate
between major centres such as Newcastle, Leeds, York, Manchester,
Sheffield and Liverpool.

The Franchising Director proposes to create a new Trans-Pennine Express
franchise to incorporate the regional inter-urban network. This will provide an
opportunity to focus management and financial resources on the development
and promotion of a high quality, limited stop services between key regional
towns and cities.

The SSRA will now begin discussions with the four PTEs and other interested
parties to ensure positive and timely development for the other parts of this
important franchise area

5. The full list of 25 passenger rail franchises with start and finish dates is
shown below:


Franchise Franchisee Franchise Length Start Finish
Anglia Railways GB Railways Group Plc. 7 yrs 3 mth 1.97 4.04
Cardiff Railway Prism Rail PLC. 7 yrs 6 mth 10.96 4.04
Central Trains National Express Group PLC. 7 yrs 1 mth 3.97 4.04
Chiltern Railways M40 Trains Limited (John Laing plc).7 yrs 7.96 7.03
Connex SouthCentral Connex Rail Limited (subsidiary of Vivendi SA). 7 yrs 5.96
Connex South Eastern Connex Rail Limited (subsidiary of Vivendi SA). 15 yrs 10.96 10.11
CrossCountry Virgin Rail Group Limited. 15 yrs 1.97 4.12
Gatwick Express National Express Group PLC. 15 yrs 4.96 5.11
Great Eastern FirstGroup plc. 7 yrs 3 mth 1.97 4.04
Great North Eastern Railway GNER Holdings Limited (subsidiary of Sea Containers Ltd.) 7 yrs 4.96 4.03
Great Western Great Western Holdings Limited (subsidiary of FirstGroup plc). 10 yrs 2.96 2.06
Island Line Stagecoach Holdings plc. 5 yrs 10.96 10.01
LTS Rail Prism Rail PLC. 15 yrs 5.96 5.11
Merseyrail Electrics ARRIVA plc. 1 yr. 2.00 2.01
Midland Mainline National Express Group PLC. 10 yrs 4.96 4.06
North Western Trains Great Western Holdings Limited (subsidiary of FirstGroup plc). 7 yrs 1 mth 3.97 4.04
Northern Spirit ARRIVA plc. 1 yr. 2.00 2.01
ScotRail National Express Group PLC. 7 yrs 3.97 4.04
Silverlink National Express Group PLC. 7 yrs 6 mth 3.97 10.04
South West Trains Stagecoach Holdings plc. 7 yrs 2.96 2.03
Thames Trains Victory Railways Holdings Limited (subsidiary of The Go-Ahead Group Plc). 7 yrs 6 mth 10.96 4.04
Thameslink GOVIA Limited (Go-Ahead Group and Via G.T.I. SA). 7 yrs 1 mth 3.97 4.04
Wales & West Prism Rail PLC. 7 yrs 6 mth 10.96 4.04
West Anglia Great Prism Rail PLC. 7 yrs 3 mth 1.97 4.04
Northern West Coast Trains Virgin Rail Group Limited. 15 yrs 3.97 03.12

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-03-08 SRA-001


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