Latest Rail News

31.10.17

Arriva out of running for Wales and Border franchise

Arriva Trains Wales are no longer competing to run the next Wales and Border Franchise, after the company withdrew their bid today.

The company – along with Abellio Rail Cymru, KeolisAmey and MTR Corporation – were invited to submit final tenders for the franchise to the Welsh Government last month.

However, Arriva’s exit from the process confirms that the franchise will definitely change hands when it ends in October 2018, as the company is the current contract holder.

“We have been notified that Arriva Group have withdrawn from the bidding process for the next Wales and Borders franchise,” explained Tom Joyner, recently appointed managing director of Arriva Trains Wales.

“Our key priority following this announcement is to continue to focus on the delivery of our services for the people and communities that depend on us for the remainder of the current franchise, including a £1m Arriva Trains Wales investment in additional trains which will be introduced in 2018.

“We will continue to work closely with our government and industry partners to support them with the delivery of their priorities.”

A Transport for Wales spokesperson added: “It is not uncommon for bidders for major projects to withdraw during the tender process and Arriva have been clear they have done this for their own commercial reasons.

“With final tenders due later this year, we have three companies with world-class credentials each putting their own, distinct cases for how they will deliver the ambitious objectives we set, with the goal of delivering a step change in rail services for passengers across Wales and the Borders.”

The shortlist for a new operator was announced in October last year, with extra work available in the form of South Wales Metro construction and improvement.

Top image: Phil Noble - PA

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

D Roberts   31/10/2017 at 15:45

I would not be surprised if others drop out because: First, and most important, the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) have not decided whether they want light rail trams, tram-trains, or heavy rail on the Valley lines and so no work has even started on electrification. Second, there is not yet any agreement between WAG and DfT on financing details, and I imagine that work cannot start before funding is in place. Third, the estimates of the cost of the ambitious plans for the Cardiff Metro seem ridiculously low bearing in mind the over-runs on every infrastructure project originally estimated at over £100 million. Fourth, the new franchise bids will not be in until 21st December and so it will not be let much before March 2018 and yet it comes into force in October 2018. Fifth, we have been informed by NR (who have no say in the matter) that longer trains can be in use on the Valleys by Spring 2008 though none were available because the current franchise was let on a "no increase in demand" basis. Sixth, we who use these lines have been promised the end of Pacers with no idea where new trains are to come from before (or even soon after) 2020. Seventh, it is unclear whether NR will still own the infrastructure or the WAG will own it via its not-for-profit subsidiary Transport for Wales.

Andrew Gwilt   31/10/2017 at 20:55

KeolisAmey might win the bid to take over the franchise as Abellio are to take over the West Midlands franchise in December.

Jimbo   31/10/2017 at 22:48

So either ATW think (or have been told) they won't win no matter how good their bid, so are bowing out to stop wasting anymore money on the bid, or they know something about the new franchise that we don't yet. As the incumbent, they are best placed to know how much the current services costs, so comparing the current service against what the Welsh Government have said they want, perhaps ATW can see that the future franchise is more trouble than its worth, and are getting out while they can.

PP   01/11/2017 at 09:25

Andrew, might I respectfully suggest that you, like the rest of us, have no idea who is going to win this franchise?

Tommy   01/11/2017 at 09:35

I believe the pacers have to be scrapped by 2019 as they fall foul of DDA rules. Doesn't answer where the new rolling stock is coming from but its a question that needs to be asked

Andrew Gwilt   02/11/2017 at 00:52

@PP. True. But Abellio are taking over the WM franchise in December and they could also take over the W&B franchise. But KeliosAmey as I’m suggesting could win the bid to take over the franchise next year and yes they could get some new rolling stocks such as Class 769 Bi-Mode units and to order new trains to replace the Pacers on the Welsh Valley lines and in the Cardiff area.

Andrew JG   02/11/2017 at 12:18

Arriva Trains Wales (Cymru) have done very well in the past since they took over the Welsh franchise in December 2003. They will always be remembered as the best rail operator in Wales. Sadly Arriva Rail Cymru have lost the franchise as they pulled out of the franchise and they are to focus on maintaining and improving the Crosscountry and Chiltern Railways franchises for some time. But ATW are ordering 5 Class 769 Bi-Mode “Flex” (converted Class 319 “Flex” units) in which they will operate on some services as the Class 150 and Class 158 are to undergo modifications to comply with PRM regulations. As well as allowing the company to increase its fleet capacity. When the new franchise starts next year.

Mark Hare   06/11/2017 at 11:29

Andrew - any one of the remaining bidders could win the franchise, so speculating is pointless. And what on earth does "They will always be remembered as the best rail operator in Wales" mean? They run all internal services in Wales so there isn't much competition! And as for 'maintaining an improving the Crosscountry and Chiltern Railways franchises for some time' - you seem to be forgetting Northern, Arriva Rail London and Grand Central, as well as its Open Access arm Alliance Rail, or is it not interested in those? And don't forget that the CrossCountry franchise expires in less than two years and Chiltern Railways in four.

Andrew Gwilt   08/11/2017 at 03:47

Thanks for clarifying that Mark Hare.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >