Latest Rail News

15.03.16

CMA clears new TransPennine franchise

The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared the award of the TransPennine Express (TPE) franchise to FirstGroup.

The department, which last week also laid out options for the future of rail franchising in the UK, opened an inquiry into the new TPE franchise in January.

After examining overlaps with other rail services, it determined that the new franchise will not “give rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition” – primarily because of the competition brought forward by Northern Rail on the line between Selby and Hull.

It also did not consider that the franchise award could reduce the amount of bidders for future franchises, or provide an advantage to FirstGroup once the new franchise expires.

It did, however, raise concerns about a “substantial lessening of competition” elsewhere, such as between Huddersfield and Marsden, where combining bus services with the franchise would give FirstGroup a “very high share” of public transport services in the region.

“However, it has exercised its discretion to apply the ‘de minimis’ exception where small markets are affected, and therefore has not referred the franchise award for an in-depth investigation,” the CMA’s statement said.

A FirstGroup spokesperson told RTM: “We’re pleased that the CMA has cleared the award of the TPE rail franchise. The new franchise begins in April, and we look forward to delivering more services, more seats, and new state-of-the-art intercity trains.”

The new TPE franchise, announced in December on the same day as the new Northern Rail franchise, is set to begin on 1 April. However, unlike Northern, it has not yet revealed any details about its future rolling stock.

And despite announcing its new MD in January, FirstGroup has not yet made any further public decisions on a potential staff shake-up.

Under the new contract, the company – which will operate under the name First TransPennine Express Limited – has to deliver 44 new state-of-the-art intercity trains by 2019, increasing the present fleet size by two-thirds. All existing trains must also be fully refurbished.

Network Rail has also announced it will work alongside the DfT and Transport for the North to develop a new electrification plan for the TransPennine line, expected to provide capacity for six fast or semi-fast trains per hour and shed up to 15 minutes off current journey times between Manchester and York by 2022.

Comments

Andrew G   28/03/2016 at 22:22

New franchise with new rolling stock including Class 195 DMU and Class 331 EMU trains that are to be built by CAF from next year as the Class 142, Class 143 and Class 144 Pacers DMU trains are to be replaced and to be scrapped and other trains that are to be replaced by these new trains with Northern's Class 321's and Class 322's that could be cascaded to Abellio GA or Abellio Scotrail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_195 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_331

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
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 projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >