FirstGroup shortlisted for TransPennine Express franchise competition
19 August 2014 • Author: FirstGroup
FirstGroup has been shortlisted for the TransPennine Express franchise competition by the Department for Transport (‘DfT’). The Group currently operates the franchise which provides passenger train services throughout the North of England and cross-border services to Scotland.
Commenting, Vernon Barker, FirstGroup’s Managing Director, UK Rail said:
“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the TransPennine Express franchise competition. We are proud to have operated the First TransPennine franchise since 2004 and proud of our success in growing the business. First TransPennine Express now carries 26 million passengers a year, twice as many as at the start of the franchise and we recently introduced new, longer, electric trains on the Anglo-Scottish routes which provide an improved timetable and increased capacity. We are also the current European InterCity Operator of the Year. We look forward to reviewing the contract details and submitting a compelling and value for money bid which meets the needs of taxpayers as well as customers and businesses along the route.”
The current First TransPennine Express franchise is due to end on 31 March 2015 and, as previously announced, we are progressing negotiations with the DfT to continue operating the franchise until February 2016 when the new contract will begin.