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Railhub Archive
2005-10-18 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Central Trains franchise remapping

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Department for Transport

Central Trains franchise remapping

18 October 2005 00.00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

THE DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT has today announced a new structure of rail franchises, to be implemented following the expiry of the current Central Trains franchise.

The new franchise map will see:

Three new franchises replacing four existing franchises.

An East Midlands franchise being created. This will operate services to and from London St Pancras together with regional and local services in the East Midlands.

A West Midlands franchise being created. This will operate the West Coast Main Line outer suburban services to and from London Euston (currently operated by Silverlink County) together with regional and local services in the West Midlands.

A new Cross County []CrossCountry]] franchise being created. The existing franchise, operated by Virgin Rail Group under a "letter agreement" with the Department, will be re-let in Autumn 2007.

The expiry dates of the current Central Trains and Silverlink franchises will be extended to Autumn 2007. This allows time for the development of detailed specifications for the new franchises and for full competitive procurement to take place.

There will be an option to transfer the Liverpool to Nottingham service to the TransPennine Express franchise if this demonstrates better value for money. There will also be an option to transfer the services to and from Birmingham Snow Hill to Chiltern Railways, if this, too, can demonstrate better value for money.

Discussions are still taking place on the possible transfer to Transport for London of the London inner-suburban services operated by Silverlink Metro and no final decision has been made.

The new franchise map is designed to increase the efficiency and performance of the railways, improving services for passengers. Working from these aims, in consultation with the rail industry, a wide range of options was considered before the final decision was made.

Notes to editor

1. The DfT's Future of Rail White Paper, published in July 2004, announced our intention to consider how rail passenger franchises could be best aligned with NR's regional and route structure.

2. On October 19, 2004, the Secretary of State announced that following expiry of the current Central Trains franchise, existing services would be distributed among other train operators in the region

3. For further details about this announcement, please go to

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300

Railhub Archive ::: 2005-10-18 DfT-001


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