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Three companies shortlisted to compete for the next West Midlands franchise

7 April 2016  •  Author: Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the train companies that are in the running for the next West Midlands franchise competition.

west midlands franchise

The three companies have been successfully shortlisted for the competition after submitting an Expression of Interest. The shortlisted bidders are:

  • London and West Midlands Railway Limited, a subsidiary of Govia Limited (a joint venture between Keolis and Go-Ahead Group)
  • West Midlands Trains Limited, currently a wholly owned subsidiary of Abellio Transport Group Limited with Japan Railways East and Mitsui Corporation as minority partners
  • MTR Corporation (West Midlands) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of MTR Corporation (UK) Limited.

Commenting on the announcement, 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.”

Alistair Gordon, CEO of Keolis UK, said: “Keolis and Go-Ahead have been operating successful suburban and regional rail networks together in the UK since 1996. We welcome this opportunity to retain the West Midlands franchise and to continue to improve the passenger experience across these key routes.”

New operator to take over the West Midlands franchise in October 2017

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 DfT also announced the joint consortium of East Japan Railway and Mitsui & Co 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 four years. 

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