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First Group - Articles and news items

The East Midlands rail franchise competition has a new entrant on the shortlist

Rail industry news / 1 March 2017 /

The Department of Transport has shortlisted First Trenitalia East Midlands Rail Limited in the East Midlands rail franchise competition.

Trenitalia and First Group to issue joint bid for two British rail franchises

Rail industry news / 26 January 2017 /

Trenitalia UK Ltd and FirstGroup plc are to join forces to bid for East Midlands and West Coast Partnership rail franchises.

Hull Trains to receive five new AT300 Inter City trains following £60m deal

Rail industry news / 2 November 2016 /

FirstGroup, operator of Hull Trains, and Hitachi Rail Europe have agreed a £60 million contract for the delivery of five Inter City trains for service on the East Coast Main Line.

Virgin Trains and FirstGroup to compete on East Coast Main Line

Rail industry news / 12 May 2016 /

The ORR has approved Virgin Trains East Coast and FirstGroup application for new services travelling on the East Coast Main Line (ECML).

First Hull Trains track access extended until 2029

Rail industry news / 23 March 2016 /

FirstGroup’s application for the extension of track on its First Hull Trains operation has been approved by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for a further 10 years.

Two operators shortlisted for next South Western rail franchise

Rail industry news / 4 February 2016 /

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced two shortlisted companies who will compete for the next South Western rail franchise in June 2017.

Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchises confirmed

Rail industry news / 23 December 2015 /

Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchises have been officially confirmed by the Department for Transport, awarding contracts to Arriva Rail North and First Trans Pennine Express Ltd.

Government awards Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchises

Rail industry news / 9 December 2015 /

In a measure to ensure the development of a Northern Powerhouse, the UK government has announced its intention to award Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchises to Arriva Rail North Ltd. and First Trans Pennine Express Ltd. 

New USB charging device trialled on-board Hull Trains

Rail industry news / 15 September 2015 /

Hull Trains, operated by First, is trialling an industry-first on board USB charger for mobile devices without the need for customers to carry bulky three-pin plugs.

FirstGroup statement regarding the ScotRail franchise

Rail industry news / 8 October 2014 /

FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America, has been informed by Transport Scotland that it has not been awarded the new ScotRail franchise…

Shortlist for new InterCity East Coast rail services

Rail industry news / 17 January 2014 /

The shortlist of bidders that will be invited to deliver proposals for improved services for passengers on the InterCity East Coast rail franchise was announced by the government…

New FGW franchise to build on improvements

Issue 6 2013 / 4 December 2013 /

Running services out of London Paddington, across the South and West of England and South Wales, the former Greater Western franchise began operating on 1 April 2006. Operated by First Group and branded as First Great Western, the network combines the previous Great Western Intercity, London and Thames Valley, and West Country regional franchises. A second, 23-month franchise agreement began on 14 October 2013.

The First Great Western story Running over 1,550 trains a day, First Great Western (FGW) manages 210 stations and calls at a further 60 across the South West network. First Group made the decision in 2011 not to take up a contractually permitted three-year extension to the franchise, with a view to retendering for a longer-term agreement.

The decision enabled the Department for Transport (DfT) to develop plans for a longerterm franchise that would benefit from and help to deliver a number of major schemes, including electrification of a significant part of the network, the completion of Crossrail and the introduction of the Intercity Express Programme bi-mode trains. First Group was shortlisted to submit a bid for this longer-term franchise, which was due to begin in July 2013 and run for 15 years, but this process was delayed following the decision in October 2012 by the DfT to pause its franchising programme.

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