Our Companies

Rail Franchise Bids

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 (DfT).

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.

In July 2015, the Department for Transport (DfT) published a revised rail franchise schedule. The schedule envisaged changes to three of the franchises in which Stagecoach has an involvement:

The new schedule envisages:

  • East Midlands Trains: the core period of a direct award to run to March 2018, rather than October 2017 as previously planned. A direct award has now been agreed with the DfT which started on 19 October and will run until at least March 2018.
  • South West Trains: an extension option called to June 2017. The current franchise is due to end in February 2017.
  • Virgin Trains West Coast: the franchise running until September 2017. The franchise was previously planned to run until at least 31 March 2017.

Current rail franchise bids

This section contains details on current rail franchise bids. Stakeholders can contact us by emailing bidteam@stagecoachrail.com

New South Western rail franchise

The Department for Transport has started consulting on the specification for a new South Western rail franchise to start in 2017. Consultation is currently taking place with passengers, businesses and local councils on their views on the next franchise and will run until 9 February 2016.

Stagecoach has almost 20 years experience of running the South West Trains franchise, and our detailed knowledge of that business places us in a strong position to bid for the new franchise.  Our vision is for a railway that is more responsive, and built around each customers, their priorities and their communities.

For more information on Stagecoach, our experience of running South West Trains and our vision for the future, click here