We are one of the UK’s biggest rail operators and are involved in running around 20% of the passenger network.
The UK rail market is split into a number of separate franchises, which are awarded by the Government for set time periods. Train operators bid to operate the franchises on the basis of specifications set by the Department for Transport.
Our bid strategy is focused on delivering better services for passengers, value for money for taxpayers and the right risk-reward profile for our shareholders.
Stagecoach Group’s wholly-owned UK rail franchises are:
Stagecoach Group also has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group which operates the Inter City West Coast franchise. The franchise runs until November 2014.
Current rail franchise bids
This section contains details on current rail franchise bids. Stakeholders can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department for Transport (DfT) announced on 31 January 2013 a change to its plans for the Great Western, Essex Thameside and Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchises. These three franchise competitions were put on hold in October 2012 following the cancellation of the Inter City West Coast franchise competition and an independent investigation into rail franchising by Richard Brown.
The Government has announced that:
- The Great Western franchise competition has been cancelled. The current franchise is being extended until October 2013 and the DfT will start negotiations with the current operator for an additional two-year contract. Longer-term proposals for the franchise will be set out in spring 2013.
- The competition for the Essex Thameside franchise will be resumed with a revised invitation to tender for a 15-year franchise issued to existing short-listed bidders in summer 2013. Negotiations will commence with current train operator for an interim contract of up to 2 years.
- The Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise competition will be resumed, with the DfT working towards awarding a 7-year contract, which is expected to be on a management contract basis. The current Thameslink/Great Northern franchise ends in September 2013 and will be extended until April 2014. Negotiations will commence with the current operator for a further contract of up to 2 years as part of the finalisation of the wider franchise programme.
Stagecoach Group was a shortlisted bidder for the Great Western and the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise competitions. The Group will now review the detail of the Government's plans and consider the implications.
The DfT intends to make a further announcement about the franchising programme in spring 2013, setting out the timetable for future franchise competitions. It will also include a statement on franchising policy in light of the Brown review’s recommendations and the Transport Select Committee’s 'Rail 2020' report.
A copy of the full DfT announcement is available here