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Railhub Archive
2007-03-08 DfT-002
Department for Transport


Bidders for Inter City East Coast rail franchise invited to tender

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Department for Transport

Bidders for Inter City East Coast rail franchise invited to tender

8 Mar 2007 09:31
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (023) issued by The Government News Network on 8 March 2007

An Invitation to Tender for bidders for the InterCity East Coast rail franchise has been issued today by the Department for Transport.

The ITT sets out the minimum level of services the new operator will be asked to deliver when the new franchise begins later this year. Bidders are able to operate additional services over and above the services outlined.

Bidders are asked to ensure current service levels are maintained together with additional Leeds half hourly services to commence in May 2007.

The specification will require bidders to:
- Plan for current and anticipated passenger growth and ensure that performance continues to improve.
- seek opportunities to deliver faster journey times on longer distance journeys.
- Set out how security on trains and stations can be improved and
- Say how they will incorporate smart card ticketing by January 2010.
Bidders will be required to look at ways of implementing the recommendations of the East Coast Route Utilisation Strategy, which will be published by Network Rail. They will also be asked to prepare for the introduction of new inter-city express trains, planned for operational trials in 2012.

Rail Minister Tom Harris said:
"We want to improve performance and accommodate future growth on the East Coast Main Line and we expect bidders to show how they can deliver this."

The details are contained within the Invitation to Tender that has been issued to bidders for the new franchise. The service is currently operated by GNER under a management contract.

Notes for Editor
1. The 4 bidders short-listed to receive Invitations to Tender are:

* Arriva Trains East Coast Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Arriva Trains Limited
* First London, Scottish and North East Railways Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Rail Holdings Limited
* Inter city - railways Limited, a 50/50 joint venture between Stagecoach Group plc and the Virgin Group of Companies
* NXEC Trains Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Express Group plc

2. The franchise will become operational by the end of 2007 and will run until 31st March 2015, the final 17 months being dependent on performance.

3. The deadline for completed bids is 6th June 2007, and the winner is expected to be announced in summer 2007.

4. The ITT is a commercially confidential document but further details on the specification and a synopsis of consultation responses are included in a Stakeholder Briefing Document on the DfT website.

5. The May 2007 timetable corresponds to the current Dec 2006 timetable plus the introduction of a regular Leeds half-hourly service (being implemented by GNER).

6. East Coast Mainline Route Utilisation Strategy (ECML RUS). Network Rail anticipates the consultation draft of the ECML RUS being issued in summer 2007. Recommendations emerging from the final ECML RUS and any subsequent changes to the InterCity East Coast (ICEC) services will be reflected in the specification during the life of the franchise.

7. A number of Priced Options will be required from bidders. These include:

* the value of continuing with the SLC 1 timetable throughout the franchise period - this provides a fall-back should the recommendations from the RUS prove difficult to implement;
* additional resource from December 2009 to assist in the management of the delivery of the IEP pre-series trains on the East Coast Main Line from Summer 2012;
* the cost of installing GSM-R equipment in all rolling stock; and,
* the transfer of, Newcastle, York, Doncaster and Peterborough stations to Network Rail for them to operate as "managed stations".

8. Smartcard ticketing. The Franchise will need to provide an ITSO (Integrated Ticketing Smartcard Organisation) compliant ticketing system by 2010. This will enable interoperability between different ticketing schemes nationally.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website:

Railhub Archive ::: 2007-03-08 DfT-002


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