Latest Rail News

08.04.16

West Midlands Rail welcomes shortlist of bidders for franchise

The company established to co-manage the West Midlands franchise has welcomed the shortlist of bidders announced yesterday.

West Midlands Rail (WMR) was set up last year by 14 Metropolitan, Shire and Unitary authorities from across the wider West Midlands to work with the Department for Transport.

Govia’s London Midland, who currently operate the franchise, submitted another bid, competing against two overseas-owned companies, West Midlands Trains (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abellio with East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd as minority partners) and MTR Corporation West Midlands (a wholly-owned subsidiary of MTR, a Chinese company).

Malcolm Holmes, WMR’s programme director, said: “We look forward to working with the DfT and the three bidders on shaping our local rail services for the forthcoming franchise.

“The successful train operator will be working in an exciting new environment in which the West Midlands will have real influence and responsibility over its local services.

“We believe this partnership offers a major opportunity for the West Midlands to develop the network in a way that underpins economic growth, job creation and carbon reduction while delivering significant benefits for passengers. This shortlist of large and well established companies shows that train operators are ready and willing to step up to the plate and meet that challenge.”

Planned improvements to West Midlands Rail during the next franchise include the completion of the Rugeley Trent Valley to Walsall electrification, upgrades at Birmingham, and enabling works at London Euston for HS2.

Comments

Andrew Gwilt.   18/04/2016 at 10:08

I think it might be Govia who want to keep the West Midlands franchise "London Midland" if they do win to extend their contract to 9 years or let First Group or Abellio win the franchise and they would bring much better services and also new trains coming in since the 2 new railway stations (Coventry Arena in Coventry and Bermuda Park in Nuneaton) in Warwickshire have been built and are fully opened. Plus London Midland are ordering the Class 230's to be used on Coventry-Nuneaton and Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington Spa-Stratford-upon-Avon routes and Bletchley-Bedford route.

Lesf   18/04/2016 at 10:52

Good if it's true Andrew but where is your evidence that LM "are ordering the Class 230's to be used on Coventry-Nuneaton and Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington Spa-Stratford-upon-Avon routes and Bletchley-Bedford route." Sounds a bit optimistic since there isn't the capacity for extra services Cov-L Spa until more of the track is redoubled.

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