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2003-10-09 SRA-001
Strategic Rail Authority

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Two year Central Trains extension


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Strategic Rail Authority

Two year Central Trains extension
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2003-07-08 SRA enter heads of terms on Central Trains two-year extension (Strategic Rail Authority)

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date
9 October 2003
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



The SRA has signed a two-year extension with incumbent franchisee National
Express Group PLC to operate the Central Trains passenger rail franchise
which provides services across the Midlands, North West England, and into
South Wales and East Anglia. The current franchise will be extended from 1
April 2004 to 31 March 2006. A new franchise will commence in April 2006
following a competitive tender.

The terms of the extension ensures the continuation of current service levels,
measures to address customer service issues and provide certainty through
the implementation of the West Coast Mainline Strategy. The customer
service measures include steps to improve information to passengers, train
cleaning programmes, increased staff training and additional staff to manage
timetable and engineering strategies.

SRA Chairman Richard Bowker said:
"The two-year extension will deliver stability for passengers while we go
through the period of change leading to the full implementation of the West
Coast Mainline Strategy. It will also allow us to consider the outcome of our
West Midlands Capacity Study and develop our long-term plans for the
franchise."

Rob Donald, Director General of Centro (the West Midlands Passenger
Transport Executive) said:

"This extension will give Centro time to work with the SRA on plans for a new
franchise to start in 2006 and for this to then take account of the longer term
rail development needs in the West Midlands. In the meantime, we will be
working with Central Trains to apply the additional public funds over the next
two years to improve the quality of local rail services."

Notes to Editors

1. The subsidy payments for the two -year extension will be circa £221m
in 2004/05 (dependent upon the final outcome of the financial
arrangements for revenue and performance), an increase of £54m
compared to 2003/04 levels and £236m in 2005/06, an increase of
£69m compared to 2003/04 levels. National Express Group has
committed £5m to fund some capital schemes.
2. Central Trains operates an extensive network of rural, urban and
interurban services right across the Midlands, North West England and
into South Wales and East Anglia. In the West Midlands, local services
are supported by Centro (West Midlands Passenger Transport
Executive).


Railhub Archive ::: 2003-10-09 SRA-001





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