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2005-12-20 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Pre-qualified bidders for South Western franchise


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Department for Transport

Pre-qualified bidders for South Western franchise
_______________________________________________________________


date
20 Dec 2005 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release



Stock exchange statement

THE DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT today announced that 5 parties have pre-qualified as bidders for the South Western Franchise.

They are:

* Arriva Trains South West Limited (Arriva plc)
* First South Western Limited (FirstGroup plc)
* Great South Western Railway Company Limited (a joint venture between GNER Holdings Limited and MTR Corporation Limited of Hong Kong)
* Trafalgar Trains Limited (National Express Group plc)
* Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited (Stagecoach Group plc)

DfT will now invite the five parties to submit detailed bids, with the franchise expected to be awarded in Autumn 2006.

DfT issued an OJEU notice on 22 September 2005 inviting Expressions of Interest in the franchise by 11 November 2005. An Invitation to Tender will be issued to the pre-qualified bidders at the end of March 2006.

The successful company will run passenger rail services on the franchise from 04 February 2007. The franchise is for a period of 10 years, the last three of which will be conditional upon preset performance criteria being met.

Notes to editors

1. The South Western franchise combines two existing franchises; South West Trains and Island Line. It includes services from London Waterloo to Woking, Basingstoke, Southampton, Portsmouth, Exeter and Reading. Bournemouth, Weymouth, Guildford, Salisbury, Brighton, Bristol, Paignton and Plymouth are also served, with the Island Line operating between Ryde and Shanklin on the Isle of Wight.

2. The current franchisee of both South West Trains and the Island Line is Stagecoach plc. Both franchises are due to expire on the 04 February 2007.



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