Guidance

Rail Franchises: questions and answers

Information about Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) reviews of the award of rail franchises under the Enterprise Act 2002.

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In March 2013 the Department for Transport (DfT) announced the start of a staggered programme to procure all its rail franchises over a period of 8 years.

Under section 66(3) of the Railways Act 1993, entering into a rail franchise agreement constitutes an acquisition of control of an enterprise under the merger control provisions of the Enterprise Act 2002. The Competition and Markets Authority therefore reviews the competition aspects of the award of rail franchises under the Enterprise Act 2002 with the aim of completing a Phase 1 investigation of the winning bidder for the rail franchise prior to the start of operations.