Bid­ders for main­line and HS2 re­vealed

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

RAIL op­er­a­tors from Italy, France, China and the UK are in the run­ning for the con­tract to pro­vide ser­vices on the West Coast Main Line from 2019 and the new HS2 high speed rail line.

The win­ner will run long-dis­tance ser­vices on the West Coast Main Line and ser­vices be­tween Lon­don and Birm­ing­ham on the £55.7 bil­lion high speed rail line, due to open in 2026. The short­listed bids are: A joint ven­ture be­tween UKbased FirstGroup and Italian op­er­a­tor Tren­i­talia

A part­ner­ship be­tween Hong Kong firm MTR and Guang­shen Rail­way Com­pany – based in China – as well as sev­eral sub­con­trac­tors

A joint en­try by UK-based Stage­coach and Vir­gin, as well as French rail op­er­a­tor SNCF.

It means the cur­rent ‘Vir­gin Trains’ brand could be re­placed.

The Govern­ment has de­cided to cre­ate a sin­gle fran­chise for the West Coast Main Line and HS2 be­cause the open­ing of a new high speed net­work will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on ex­ist­ing West Coast ser­vices.

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