Latest Rail News

27.06.12

Consultation launched for ECML franchise

The East Coast line has launched a franchise consultation, including proposals on a new fleet of InterCity Express trains and improved stations from London to York and Edinburgh.

The new operator will manage services on the East Coast Main Line from 2013 and the DfT has called for improvements to service quality, information offered to customers and improved passenger experience over the course of the franchise.

New InterCity Express trains are due to be introduced on the route and the consultation also asks for work on stations along the line.

Theresa Villiers said: “There are exciting changes on the horizon for the East Coast Main Line. It is set to receive a brand new fleet of InterCity Express trains. The next franchise will be up to 12 years in length giving the operator greater opportunities to invest in improvements that will benefit passengers.

“The consultation outlines what we expect the next operator to deliver, including better service quality, improvements to stations, the roll out of smart-ticketing technology and good levels of punctuality. Bidders will need to share with us their plans to improve the passenger experience.”

MPs from Yorkhave welcomed the plans, but call for confirmation that the franchise headquarters will remain in the city.

In an open letter from The Press to the rail minister, they asked Villiers to: “take heed of the calls made by MPs and councillors from across the political spectrum inYorkfor the East Coast headquarters, and its 165-strong workforce, to remain in the city.”

The consultation closes on September 18. The winning bidder will be announced in August 2013 and the new franchise is due to begin in December 2013.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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