Strategic Rail Authority
Two-year Silverlink trains deal signed
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Two-year Silverlink trains deal signed
type Press release
The SRA has signed a two-year extension with incumbent franchisee National Express Group PLC to operate the Silverlink passenger rail franchise until October 2006.
The extension delivers certainty for Silverlink passengers during a period of change and renewal on the West Coast Main Line.
27 September 2004 sees the first stage in the introduction of a radical new timetable on the Line, with new tilting trains delivering significantly faster journey times on Virgin services to major destinations between London and Glasgow.
The Silverlink deal secures the introduction of more carriages on key services between Northampton and London Euston via Milton Keynes - ensuring in particular that overall commuter capacity for Milton Keynes is maintained when Virgin Trains ceases to call there during core peak hours.
Silverlink's ability to deliver the additional capacity on its route will incorporate initially the use of locomotive-hauled carriages leased as part of the franchise agreement, and from Summer 2005 brand new Class 350 Desiro trains.
Notes to Editors
1. Silverlink County currently operates between London Euston, Milton Keynes and Birmingham New Street via Northampton, together with a branch linking Bletchley with Bedford and a branch service between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey.
From September 2004 County services will terminate at Northampton, as part of major changes to the West Coast Main Line timetable, with Central Trains taking over services between Northampton and Birmingham.
Silverlink Metro services operate between Richmond and North Woolwich via Willesden and Stratford, together with branches linking Willesden Junction with Clapham Junction and Gospel Oak with Barking, and local services from Watford Junction to London Euston.
2. The current Silverlink franchise has been extended from 17 October 2004 to 17 October 2006.
3. The extension secures the continuation of all Silverlink Metro (London area) services required under the existing franchise agreement.
The deal includes options for the continued provision of additional services on the North London Line and for enhanced services on the West London Line, which are both subject to a funding agreement with Transport for London (TfL).
4. The additional capacity on services between Northampton and London Euston services will be provided in the form of 12 carriage trains on a number of key peak services, in place of current 8 carriage trains.
5. The West Coast Route Modernisation is delivering platform extensions so that the 12 car trains can call at intermediate stations between London and Northampton when using the "slow" lines from September 27.
The Modernisation also sees the "slow" line maximum speed increase from 90 mile/h to 100 mile/h between London and Northampton from December 2005.
6. The introduction of 30 Class 350 Desiro trains for both Silverlink and Central Trains services, along with a new depot facility at Northampton, will be formally contracted by a variation to the extension agreement.
The deal between National Express Group, Angel Trains and Siemens to provide these new trains was announced on 23 August 2004 [[this announcement is not traceable]].
7. The projected level of public subsidy for the extension of the franchise from October 2004 to October 2006 is £120.2 million in nominal terms.
Railhub Archive ::: 2004-09-17 SRA-001