Cross Country rail franchise 2018: prospectus

Prospectus issued in 2018 for potential bidders in the Cross Country rail franchise competition.


Cross Country Prospectus

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The Secretary of State for Transport has announced a review of rail that will consider recommendations for reform to ensure the rail system continues to benefit passengers and support the economy.

The department has reviewed all ongoing franchise competitions and other live rail projects in the context of the rail review. Due to the unique geographic nature of the Cross Country franchise, which runs from Aberdeen to Penzance and cuts across multiple parts of the railway, awarding this franchise in 2019 could impact on the review’s conclusions. It has therefore been decided that this competition will not proceed.

Services will continue to be operated by the existing franchisee with options beyond this to be considered in due course. The department will consider the responses to the Cross Country public consultation in the development of future options for the franchise.

All other ongoing franchise competitions and other live rail projects are continuing as planned.

This prospectus for potential bidders in the Cross Country rail franchise competition:

  • communicates the government’s aspirations for the franchise
  • assists prospective bidders to determine whether they wish to seek pre-qualification
  • provides early guidance on the areas to be considered when preparing bids

Bidders should use the prospectus with the expression of interest competition documentation.

Information on the Cross Country rail franchise is available.

Published 6 July 2018
Last updated 20 September 2018 + show all updates
  1. Revised to explain that the current competition will not proceed.

  2. First published.