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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rail-franchises-summary/rail-franchises-summary
Summary details of all UK rail franchises.
A commuter and long distance franchise that runs passenger services between London (Marylebone) and Birmingham (Snow Hill) and into Oxfordshire via Amersham.
An intercity franchise that provides passenger services across the whole country stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance, Bournemouth to Manchester and Stansted to Cardiff.
A commuter and regional franchise providing passenger services between London (Liverpool Street), Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich as well as local and regional services across the east of England.
An intercity and regional franchise that provides passenger services between London (St Pancras), the East Midlands and Yorkshire (Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Sheffield, Leeds) and all the central England services linking Nottingham; Derby, Worksop, Lincoln, Cleethorpes, Skegness, Leicester and Cambridge.
A commuter franchise providing services into London from south-east Essex along the Thames.
A commuter and intercity franchise including high speed train services between London (Paddington), South Wales, the Cotswolds, the West Country, and rural services.
InterCity East Coast
An intercity franchise providing long distance services between London (Kings Cross) and Aberdeen. Its services call at the major cities of London, Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
InterCity West Coast
An intercity franchise that provides passenger services between London (Euston), the West Midlands, north-west England, North Wales and Scotland. Its services call at London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
A regional franchise consisting of a range of inter-urban, commuter and rural services throughout the north of England.
A commuter franchise that operates passenger services in the south-east London suburbs, the whole of Kent and part of Sussex, which are primarily commuter services to and from central London.
A commuter and regional franchise that operates an intensive network of suburban and long distance services between London Waterloo, south-west London, and towns and cities in the south-west of England, including the Island Line services on the Isle of Wight.
Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern
A commuter interurban and regional franchise bringing together Thameslink and Great Northern services with Southern services.
Thameslink provides intensive inter-urban services across London (including the key stations of St Pancras International and London Bridge) and to the north and south of the city (between Bedford and Brighton) and out to East Croydon, Gatwick Airport and Brighton.
Great Northern runs between London King’s Cross and Moorgate to Hertford North, Peterborough, Cambridge and Kings Lynn.
Southern operates predominantly commuter services between London, Surrey and Sussex, plus Gatwick and Brighton, as well as south coast services between Southampton, Brighton, Hastings and Ashford. It also operates Metro services in south London and the Gatwick Express service.
An intercity and regional providing long distance inter-urban services, across both north-east and north-west England including to Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Manchester Airport.
Wales and Borders
A regional franchise that consists of a mix of long distance, regional and local rural services. The services include the majority of the passenger rail services in Wales, including the intensive Valley Lines network around Cardiff, the remaining rural network, and the principal inter-urban links internally to the West Midlands (Birmingham) and the north-west (Manchester and Liverpool).
Interested operators should note the November 2014 agreement in principle to transfer executive rail franchising functions to the Welsh Government so that it would lead on procuring the next franchise. Subject to final agreement and Westminster Parliamentary approval, it is intended that these functions should be transferred during 2017.
West Coast Partnership
This franchise brings together the operation of the InterCity West Coast (ICWC) franchise services and the design, mobilisation and initial operation of High Speed 2 (HS2) passenger services.
The ICWC franchise provides passenger services between London (Euston), the West Midlands, north-west England, North Wales and Scotland. Its services call at major towns and cities including London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
HS2 shadow operations
The specification for the ‘shadow operator’ element of the franchise will be developed more fully in the invitation to tender (ITT). It is currently expected ro include activities such as:
- identifying the markets across the West Coast corridor (both high speed and conventional passenger services) and developing the products and the passenger proposition for those markets
- engaging with the HS2 design and build programme to ensure the franchise operator’s and passengers’ requirements are fully considered
- innovating and exploiting emerging technologies to deliver a step change in passenger experience and the delivery of services on WCP
- leading industry consultations on services and developing service patterns (both high speed and conventional services) for the period after high speed services commence
- developing implementation plans for HS2 rolling stock and infrastructure and recruitment and training in respect of the period after high speed services commence
- collaborating with Network Rail and HS2 Ltd to develop an organisational model for the delivery of services on HS2
- this will more closely align the incentives between the management of infrastructure and the operation of train services enabling them to jointly focus on delivering a service in the best interests of passengers and taxpayers
- this could pave the way for the future establishment of an integrated railway
- developing transitional plans for the conventional network
- having responsibility for HS2 mobilisation activities such as
- testing and acceptance of rolling stock
- staff recruitment
- obtaining regulatory approvals and contracts for operations
- testing infrastructure to support HS2
- the phased introduction and testing of HS2 services
It is envisaged the franchise operator will then operate both the West Coast and high speed services as an integrated operation in order to provide operational stability and a trading history in advance of the department retendering the services.
The franchise operator will therefore need to be capable of operating high speed rail services to deliver the full benefits of the HS2 scheme.
Structure and duration of franchise
It is currently anticipated that the ICWC services will be operated until the commencement of HS2 on a partial revenue risk basis. On commencement of HS2 services it is anticipated that the franchise operator would provide integrated ICWC and HS2 services for a further period of approximately 4 years on an incentivised management contract basis.
It is recognised that the role of the ‘shadow operator’ will evolve over time and, as such, flexibility will be built in to the contract to manage this. This is likely to involve some form of review mechanism to enable refinement of the role over time.
Additional information about the WCP competition
The franchise EoI for the WCP competition contained a number of mandatory further technical questions, including a test of participants’ ability and competence to:
- exploit new technology and drive innovation to develop new products and services for customers
- deliver the shadow operator role
- plan, design, develop, operate and mobilise high speed rail services, ie speeds in excess of 250 kmh
Shortlisted bidding consortia for the West Coast Partnership were announced on 22 June 2017.
The winning bidder will collaborate with HS2 Ltd to:
the initial HS2 services and deliver the transition of the timetable on the West Coast Main Line as it is revised taking advantage of the extra capacity of HS2.
The new operator will work closely with:
- local transport authorities
- Transport Scotland
- the Welsh Government
to ensure passengers receive the excellent experience they demand from the West Coast Main Line.
A commuter and regional franchise providing passenger services between Birmingham and the Midlands and major cities and towns including London (Euston), Milton Keynes, Northampton, Liverpool, Stafford, Stoke and Crewe. It also provides local and regional services across the West Midlands.