Friday 1 July 2022

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The Department for Transport has decided to abandon the franchising system in England.

The franchise on this page ceased to exist on normal commercial terms on 23 March 2020, and was replaced by an Emergency Measures Agreement, which guaranteed an income to operators and removed commercial risk.

From 20 September 2020 until some time in 2022 Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs) replaced the original EMAs, slightly reducing the fixed fees paid to operators but otherwise continuing the protection from commercial risk.

Replacement contracts of a new type may be announced later on.

(In the case of Scottish franchises, the Scottish Government announced on 18 September an extension of its EMAs from 20 September 2020 to January 2021, pending further discussions.)

West Midlands Trains

The shortlisted bidders (7 April 2016) were (1) Abellio (70.1%) with JREM Train (29.9%) (Japan East Railway Corporation 50% and Mitsui & Co. Ltd 50%) (2) Govia and (3) MTR.

MTR withdrew from the competition in June 2016.

Franchise award was due June 2017, but was deferred by the DfT on 17 July 2017.

The choice of the Abellio/JREM Train joint venture as preferred bidder was announced 10 August 2017. The end date of April 2026 may be extended by up to 26 reporting periods [2 years].

start date
10 December 2017
end date
April 2026

owned by
Abellio Transport Group Ltd (70.1%)/JREM Train (29.9%)

legal title
West Midlands Trains Limited

service area
Commuter and regional services: London Euston-Milton Keynes Central-Northampton-Rugby-Coventry-Birmingham New Street/Crewe-Liverpool Lime Street. West Midlands local services. Local services Bletchley-Bedford (until start of East West franchise or equivalent); Watford Jn-St Albans Abbey

London Midland


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