Abellio withdraws from Wales and Borders after Carillion collapse

Abellio has announced today that it will withdraw its bid for the upcoming Wales and Borders franchise following the liquidation of its construction partner Carillion.

The move leaves just two groups left in the running for the franchise after current operator Arriva Trains Wales also pulled out in October last year.

The final two bidders are KeolisAmey and MTR, with a decision on the winner due to be made in October.

In addition to the rail franchise, the winning bidder will be expected to take forward certain aspects of the £600m South Wales Metro as part of continuing transport devolution in Wales.

Announcing the decision, a spokesperson from Abellio said: “Following the liquidation of Carillion PLC on Monday 15 January, Abellio Rail Cymru has taken the decision to withdraw from the contract letting process for the Wales and Borders Rail Service and South Wales Metro competition.”

The fall of Carillion has had far-reaching effects on the British rail industry, with the company having been one of Network Rail’s top suppliers and also heavily involved in HS2.

However, last week Amey announced that it would be taking over Carillion’s Network Rail contracts, including major projects in the East Midlands, London and the north west.

Last month, it was also agreed that PwC would pay the wages of Carillion employees for Network Rail contracts until after Easter, with many smaller rail suppliers paid the arrears they were owed.

Top image: Mattbuck

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Lutz   26/02/2018 at 16:04

In the medium-term, are we to anticipate that costs to the rail industry will rise following the departure of a supplier that was offering contracts at unrealistic prices? How would this impact the ability of Network Rail to deliver on it's current Business Plan proposals for CP6 given that its allocation for CP6 is a CASH settlement - i.e. fixed-figure.

Jimbo   26/02/2018 at 17:02

@Lutz - interesting point. With rail project costs increasing far faster than inflation, you are right that this could add increase still further. What a mess.

Andrew Gwilt   26/02/2018 at 20:38

Don’t want MTR Corp to take over the franchise. KeliosAmey would still be favourites in my opinion to take over because they would do a brilliant job. And they would provide better services and they would comply to have extra trains on services that needs more extra trains such as rural lines in the Welsh Valley area. Plus with new trains coming aswell.

Jon   26/02/2018 at 22:41

What is your issue with MTR?

Andrew Gwilt   27/02/2018 at 02:00

Well because KeliosAmey are likely to take over from Arriva and I think they will do a great job on managing the Welsh rail franchise.

J, Leicester   27/02/2018 at 09:31

Is MTR bidding alone, or in conjunction with another company?

Mik   27/02/2018 at 13:02

Currently work for keolisamey and would discourage anyone from supporting them. They are a terrible company who only wish to cut and slash to make as much as possible at the expense of the workforce and supply. Brought strikes to docklands and don't be misled by the figures. All manipulated to look good. No spares robbing and reusing thrown away components are a endicament of situation. People saw about a fire last week. What they didn't see was that was second fire in two days. They might well put in best offer but I guarantee the service and workforce will all pay for their incompetence and inability to manage a railway

Pdeaves   27/02/2018 at 13:06

Andrew, we don't know (quote) "KeliosAmey are likely to take over from Arriva". It has to go through a proper bidding process and MTR may come out best. Time will tell.

Nonsuchmike   27/02/2018 at 13:14

Could a "Not for Profit" group enter the fray? Would they be able to provide more trains of greater length/more seats @ more frequent & inter-connected times than others? What about getting NwkRail to put down some more steel so that there are more effective junctions and passing loops/dualling for timetables to be improved? The potential in Wales is massive, if only people will talk to each other and sequence priorities.

Lutz   27/02/2018 at 13:17

@Jimbo:- I think the biggest concern is not the actual level of charges, but that the potential impact of the collapse (and issues now surfacing at other suppliers) will undermine Network Rail's ability to produce dependable estimates of it's costs going forward, in the limited time period between now and the final agreement on the CP6 funding.

Rich   27/02/2018 at 14:03

Same old story privileged large contractors bidding for a government owned network rail system Money pouring down the drain like their is no tomorrow because the taxpayer foots the bill for everything typical so typical

Peter Jarvis   27/02/2018 at 14:12

There are railway companies in Wales, some ancient and left over from the High and Far-Off Times, that run lines at a revenue profit, but they still depend on outside capital - EU etc - for new investment. But the example may just be worth following, or at least investigating. And with no EU, is it still possible?

Foaming Stoat   27/02/2018 at 14:50

J in Leicester, MTR are bidding in conjunction with BAM Nuttall, who I haven't heard much about in a franchise bidding context previously. F. Stoat (Ms)

Boris   27/02/2018 at 18:26

All I know about BAM Nuttall is that they are a “construction” company messed that up the Cambridgeshire Busway, messed up Edinburgh Trams, and are still trying to make the respective taxpayers foot the bill for their own insolence. Wretched scum as far as I’m concerned.

Dave P   27/02/2018 at 18:52

I would like to see the RMT and/or some of the other trade unions put in a bid for franchises. After all they want to do the best for staff and passengers and seem to know better. Let’s see how they do to run a franchise successfully, safely, on time etc.

Jak Jay   27/02/2018 at 22:24

Seems a few on here have shares in on of the remaining bidders or edit their press handouts and as for the last purile comment re :the RMT,priceless! they could not do a worse job then the cowboys playing trains with tax payers money

David R   28/02/2018 at 10:56

There is a bad error in the article. The winner is NOT due to be announced in October - the winner is due to TAKE OVER in October. The announcement was due in late 2017 but the whole franchising process has been delayed by indecision on the part of Transport for Wales, who still have not decided whether the Valleys are to be heavy rail (possibly electrified), light rail, trams or some combination. I doubt anyone would be prepared to put in a bid without that decision being included as a condition of the offer. In any case there is a rumour that RMT and Unite have already told their Labour Party minions which one to pick.

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