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2000-10-12 SRA-001
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

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Waterloo - Exeter Line included in new Wessex franchise


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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

Waterloo - Exeter Line included in new Wessex franchise
_______________________________________________________________


date
12 October 2000
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



Development of services and investment in the London Waterloo to Exeter
line is the rationale behind the sSRA's decision today to include the route
within the new Wessex Rail franchise, full details of which are expected to be
announced next month. The decision has been made after reviewing a report
by consultants commissioned by the sSRA.

Mike Grant, Franchising Director and Chief Executive of the sSRA said:
"The Waterloo to Exeter service will not be included in the replacement South
West Trains franchise but in a new Wessex franchise. I believe this will best
serve the interests of passengers.

"The option was left open when counterparties were invited to bid for the
South West Trains replacement franchise in March. I repeated this when a
new Wessex franchise was proposed by the sSRA as part of the franchise
map unveiled in June.

"This route's capacity has suffered from a lack of investment over the years,
particularly since it was reduced in places to single track. This has severely
limited service frequencies west of Salisbury. The needs of passengers on the
route west are distinct from those on the commuter dominated South West
Trains franchise, and demand is growing rapidly. Hence our decision to
separate out these services. It is also strategically important as an alternative
to the main route operated from Paddington."

Notes to Editors

1. The new Wessex franchise will also incorporate services currently
continued past Exeter by SWT to Paignton, and services between
Reading and Portsmouth/Brighton, using similar diesel rolling stock.
2. Full details of new franchises throughout the country are contained in
sSRA press release "Sir Alastair Morton sets out map for UK Rail"
issued on 20 June.
3. A study into the implications for the franchising of services in the West
of England has been undertaken by Gibb Rail for the sSRA.
4. 4. The sSRA announced on August 17th that three companies had
been shortlisted for the new South West Trains franchise, namely
Stagecoach Holdings plc, GNER Holdings Limited and First Group plc
in association with Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways).
Important Notice

This news release is issued by the Franchising Director and its contents have
been approved for the purposes of section 57 of the Financial Services Act
1986 by KPMG Corporate Finance.

KPMG Corporate Finance is a division of KPMG which is authorised to carry
on investment business by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England
and Wales. This news release has been prepared for general information
purposes only and is not intended to form the basis of any investment
decision or constitute an offer or invitation to bid for any passenger rail
franchise or to acquire shares in a train operating company. Neither this news
release nor any copy of it should be taken into or distributed in Canada,
France, Japan or the United States except in accordance with an applicable
exemption. The distribution of this news release in other jurisdictions may be
restricted by law and therefore persons into whose possession this news
release comes should inform themselves about and observe any such
restrictions.

KPMG Corporate Finance is acting for the Franchising Director and will not
regard any other person as its client in relation to passenger railway
franchising or be responsible to anyone other than the Franchising Director for
providing the protections afforded to clients of KPMG Corporate Finance nor
for advising any other person on the contents of this news release or any
matter referred to in it.


Railhub Archive ::: 2000-10-12 SRA-001





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