Names of train companies to compete for West Midlands franchise announced.
The Department for Transport has announced the train companies that are in the running for the next West Midlands franchise competition.
Three companies have been successfully shortlisted for the competition after submitting an expression of interest.
The shortlisted bidders are:
- London and West Midlands Railway Ltd, a subsidiary of Govia Ltd (a joint venture between Keolis and Go-Ahead Group)
- West Midlands Trains Ltd, currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Abellio Transport Group Ltd with East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd as minority partners
- MTR Corporation (West Midlands) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation (UK) Ltd
The new operator is due to take over the franchise in October 2017, with the contract award expected to be made in June 2017. The current franchise covers a combination of commuting and long-distance services spanning the midlands, south-east and north-west as well services to London Euston and Liverpool Lime Street.
The Department for Transport also announced the joint consortium of East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co Ltd has been awarded a new Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) Passport. The consortium joins the department’s list of ‘passport holders’ who are eligible to express an interest in all upcoming rail franchise competitions for the next 4 years.
Rail Minister, Claire Perry said:
“The West Midlands franchise serves both commuters and long distance passengers and we are confident these companies will create high quality bids that can deliver better journeys for all.
Today’s announcement marks a key step forward in giving passengers improved services across the region and beyond.”