Author Topic: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.  (Read 5232 times)

Offline Suzy Scott

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Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« on: January 19, 2014, 11:40:22 AM »
Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.

The shortlist of bidders that will be invited to deliver proposals for improved services for passengers on the Intercity East Coast rail franchise was announced by the government today (17 January 2014).

The companies that have successfully passed the ‘Pre-qualification evaluation’ stage and can now start working on developing their plans for the franchise, before they receive the government’s ‘Invitation to tender’ are:

East Coast Trains Ltd (First Group plc)
Keolis/Eurostar East Coast Limited (Keolis (UK) Limited and Eurostar International Limited)
Inter City Railways Limited (Stagecoach Transport Holdings Limited and Virgin Holdings Limited)
These potential operators will need to consider how they intend to use the latest high-tech trains, built in the UK by Agility, to deliver more passengers to more of the UK’s biggest cities faster and in greater comfort.

The government is expecting to see how the future operators will capitalise on the significant government investment along this route, including £240 million in infrastructure projects over the next 5 years to improve capacity and reduce journey times.

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said:

Giving passengers more will be at the heart of the new East Coast franchise. That means new services and journeys that are faster, more punctual and more comfortable. When these companies are developing their proposals they should be looking at ways to innovate and grow the service.

We have embarked on one of the biggest programmes of rail investment ever, with over £35 billion being spent to enhance and run our rail network over the next 5 years. But for our railways to continue to grow we need strong private sector partners who can invest and innovate in ways that deliver a world class service.

Since rail services were privatised in 1993, the close cooperation between government and the train companies has heralded an unprecedented growth in the number of passengers.

While the East Coast franchise has been stabilised under government ownership since 2009, the route now needs a long term private sector operator to plan for the future and meet the increasing demands for more trains serving even more destinations.

When it started the franchise competition in October 2013 the government published the InterCity East Coast prospectus which set out the areas prospective bidders will need to consider when they start developing their proposals. These include:

developing innovative timetables which build on the core train service requirement published by the Department for Transport (DfT)
investment in innovative ways to transform the customer experience on trains and at stations
identifying further opportunities for investment along the route, particularly at stations
making the route and train operations more considerate of the environment
involving communities along the route in local decision making
demonstrating how their proposals will support economic growth along the route
To pass the rigorous Pre-qualification evaluation each of the bidders were asked to demonstrate that they have the financial strength, legal, operational and safety experience to run the franchise.

The DfT is planning to issue the ‘Invitation to tender’ at the end of February and the potential operators will then have at least 3 months to develop their bids, before the new services start in February 2015.

East Coast is one of the two main London to Scotland railways providing frequent services. It is an electrified 393 miles (632 kilometres) railway link between London, Peterborough, Doncaster, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

It is one of the fastest conventional lines in the UK with most of the line being cleared for 125 miles per hour (200 kilometres per hour) operation. Non-electrified line extends further north into Scotland from Edinburgh to Inverness and Aberdeen. The services meet demand for business travel, particularly between Edinburgh, Newcastle, York, Leeds and London, leisure travel to a variety of destinations and commuter journeys, primarily between Newark, Grantham, Peterborough and London.

Offline Steven Knight Media

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 12:07:23 PM »
The partnership between Stagecoach/Virgin for East Coast is completely different to the West Coast deal. For East Coast Stagecoach are the main shareholder with 90% shareholding and Virgin Group have just a 10% share.

On West Coast the split is 51% Virgin Group and 49% Stagecoach.

Offline TCD813

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 05:19:59 PM »
The partnership between Stagecoach/Virgin for East Coast is completely different to the West Coast deal. For East Coast Stagecoach are the main shareholder with 90% shareholding and Virgin Group have just a 10% share.

On West Coast the split is 51% Virgin Group and 49% Stagecoach.

I hadn't realised the different % for the ECML bid. Thanks.

Speaking personally, I think it's a scandal that Directly Operated Railways are not permitted to bid for the franchise. If private operators can offer the better deal for the travelling public, so be it. However, excluding DOR is pre-judging the issue.
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RM471

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 09:47:39 AM »
Since State ownership has done such a good job since 2009 and delivered a billion pounds in much needed government income it is a shame that it will not continue or be extended to other operating companies.

Offline TCD813

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 11:35:24 AM »
Speaking personally, I think it's a scandal that Directly Operated Railways are not permitted to bid for the franchise. If private operators can offer the better deal for the travelling public, so be it. However, excluding DOR is pre-judging the issue.

Since State ownership has done such a good job since 2009 and delivered a billion pounds in much needed government income it is a shame that it will not continue or be extended to other operating companies.

Unless there's a change of government next year! Possibly.
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline AE55DKN

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 10:15:41 PM »
Why do they have to tinker with stuff that works?

Offline TCD813

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 09:26:56 AM »
Why do they have to tinker with stuff that works?

Unfortunately, in the Department for Transport (DafT  ;D ) the administrative staff have an unfortunate tendency to leave old envelopes around when letters are opened.

Politicians then seize upon these for drafting new ideas for policies, contacts, high-speed routes… you name it!

Well, is there a more rational explanation for the twists and turns of transport policy?  ::)
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2014, 10:01:50 AM »
More seats, more services and new trains for East Coast passengers
From:Department for Transport and The Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP First published:27 November 2014Part of:Rail franchising, Expanding and improving the rail network, Transport and UK economy
East Coast franchise awarded to Inter City Railways, a consortium of Stagecoach and Virgin.
Intercity Express Programme train
Rail journeys between London and Edinburgh will be transformed by more seats, more services and new trains after the government announced its intention to award the new East Coast franchise to Inter City Railways, a consortium of Stagecoach and Virgin, today (27 November 2014).

The new deal will include a host of extra benefits for passengers:

23 new services from London to key destinations, with 75 more station calls a day
plans for new direct links to Huddersfield, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Dewsbury and Thornaby
proposals for more trains to London from Bradford, Edinburgh, Harrogate, Leeds, Lincoln, Newcastle, Shipley, Stirling, and York
3,100 extra seats for the morning peak time by 2020
across the entire train fleet there will be 12,200 additional seats – a 50% increase
65 state of the art Intercity Express trains brought into passenger service from 2018, totalling 500 new carriages
journey times from London to Leeds reduced by 14 minutes, and from London to Edinburgh by 13 minutes
a £140 million investment package to improve trains and stations.
View the individual station benefits on our interactive map.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

This is a fantastic deal for passengers and for staff on this vital route. It gives passengers more seats, more services and new trains.

We are putting passengers at the heart of the service. I believe Stagecoach and Virgin will not only deliver for customers but also for the British taxpayer.

This government knows the importance of our railways. That is why they are a vital part of our long term economic plan, with over £38 billion being spent on the network over the next five years.

Martin Griffiths, Chief Executive of Stagecoach Group, said:

A passion for customers, employees and the community is at the heart of our plans for the franchise. We want to build on the quality and pride of the people who will be joining our team.

We have some fantastic ideas to deliver a more personal travel experience for customers. Investing in the committed people who will make that happen is a big part of our plans, giving opportunities for them to develop and grow into more senior roles. At the same time, we have developed major programmes to help young people, communities and small businesses along what is one of Britain’s major rail routes.

Over the 8-year franchise, Inter City Railways will invest £140 million to bring extra benefits for passengers, including:

complete refurbishment of the existing train fleet
better wi-fi connections and onboard catering on the new Intercity Express train fleet
improved ticket offices and 170 new ticket vending machines
over 500 new car parking spaces
411 additional cycle spaces and new secure cycle facilities
a customer and community improvement fund
a training fund for new apprenticeships, internships and staff development.
East Coast infographic.
The new services announced today have only been made possible thanks to the government’s significant investment in the railways. Over the next 8 years Inter City Railways will pay the government around £3.3 billion to operate the franchise.

The company will shortly begin talks with Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation to agree its plans to run new direct services from London to Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield.

It will also seek approval to run more trains to Edinburgh, Leeds, Lincoln, Shipley, Stirling, Harrogate and Bradford.

From 2018, Inter City Railways will take delivery of the new Intercity Express trains, to be assembled at Hitachi’s factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. By 2020 all of the 65 modern high-speed electric trains will be in service and will replace 39 existing trains.

In addition to more seats, passengers will benefit from cleaner, more reliable trains and faster journeys. The new franchise will provide regular journey times of 2 hours to Leeds and 4 hours to Edinburgh.

Inter City Railways has also given a commitment to reduce all long-distance standard anytime fares by 10%. This could save passengers travelling from Edinburgh to London around £15 on those journeys.

The operator will also develop its own website, smartphone and tablet apps that will make door-to-door travel easier for customers, including planning journeys and buying tickets.

Inter City Railways is a joint venture comprising Stagecoach Transport Holdings Ltd and Virgin Holdings Ltd. It will take over the franchise from Sunday 1 March 2015.

Following the announcement, and in accordance with usual procurement practice, there will be a standstill period of 10 days before the department will be in a position to enter into, and complete, the formal contractual documentation and make the award to Inter City Railways.

View an interactive map of the East Coast franchise.

Offline TCD813

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2014, 06:55:15 PM »
Isn't this just brilliant?

You now have these choices if you wish to travel from London to Scotland by public transport:
  • The West Coast mainline; Virgin trains, majority owner Stagecoach
  • The East Coast mainline; Virgin Trains majority owner Stagecoach
  • Megabus, owner and majority operator Stagecoach
  • National Express coaches

Such a forward-thrusting, dynamic, practical, progressive, blah-blah-blah departure from the boring old days of dreadful state monopolies!

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

(NB: there is a difficulty with the choice of fonts on the forum – I cannot find the font 'Ironic Bold Extended.)
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2014, 07:14:56 PM »
You forgot to mention that National Express cross-border services expanded when a Stagecoach sold their cross-border work back in 1989. [/irony]

Offline alex397

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 12:02:57 AM »
I would have preferred East Coast to have remained government owned, for various reasons. For one, as an experiment to try out more cost-effective ways of operating a railway, as this current privatised system is ridiculously expensive and wasteful, especially when compared to the bus industry.

Good luck to Stagecoach/Virgin, I hope they run it successfully. I think we should be blaming the government rather than the transport operator.

Offline alex397

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2014, 12:10:28 AM »
Isn't this just brilliant?

You now have these choices if you wish to travel from London to Scotland by public transport:
  • The West Coast mainline; Virgin trains, majority owner Stagecoach
  • The East Coast mainline; Virgin Trains majority owner Stagecoach
  • Megabus, owner and majority operator Stagecoach
  • National Express coaches

Yes that situation is rather ridiculous. 

I'm being a nit-picker here, but there is also the First Scotrail-operated sleeper trains between London Euston and Edinburgh/Glasgow/Aberdeen/Inverness/Fort William. (The sleeper will be taken over by Serco in April 2015).

« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 12:15:29 AM by alex397 »

Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2014, 06:48:18 AM »
In the spirit of of Schaudenfraude (think I spelt it correctly?)

Vey very pleased that First didn't win it and to see that their share price has tumbled, lots of speculation on line that they may have to sell something to reduce their debt.
Can only hope they consider some part(s) of UK bus!

Offline Dale

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2014, 03:50:03 PM »
Isn't this just brilliant?

You now have these choices if you wish to travel from London to Scotland by public transport:
  • The West Coast mainline; Virgin trains, majority owner Stagecoach
  • The East Coast mainline; Virgin Trains majority owner Stagecoach
  • Megabus, owner and majority operator Stagecoach
  • National Express coaches



Such a forward-thrusting, dynamic, practical, progressive, blah-blah-blah departure from the boring old days of dreadful state monopolies!

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!

(NB: there is a difficulty with the choice of fonts on the forum – I cannot find the font 'Ironic Bold Extended.)


Not quite.

West Coast is 51% Virgin and 49% Stagecoach
East Coast is 90% Stagecoach and 10% Virgin
.

Offline TCD813

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2014, 05:09:30 PM »
In the spirit of of Schaudenfraude (think I spelt it correctly?)

Vey very pleased that First didn't win it and to see that their share price has tumbled, lots of speculation on line that they may have to sell something to reduce their debt.
Can only hope they consider some part(s) of UK bus!

Schadenfreude

The trick is to open a new tab (or window) in your browser (background window on a mobile/tablet) and pop the word into Google. Copy the correct spelling and paste it into your message.

My wife's job involves transcripts of endless academic lectures, including names of writers who are not in the fields of her own degrees. The trick above works well for her!


TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline TCD813

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2014, 05:13:37 PM »
Yes that situation is rather ridiculous. 

I'm being a nit-picker here, but there is also the First Scotrail-operated sleeper trains between London Euston and Edinburgh/Glasgow/Aberdeen/Inverness/Fort William. (The sleeper will be taken over by Serco in April 2015).

Good point: Scottish private company replaced by English private company. (No wonder Brian Souter backed independence!)
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.

Offline TCD813

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Re: Potential operators of the new East Coast franchise announced.
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2014, 05:20:51 PM »
West Coast is 51% Virgin and 49% Stagecoach
East Coast is 90% Stagecoach and 10% Virgin

Lower percentage of Virgin... Hmm!

That tempts me to use a very naughty word about what privatised operators do to passengers through their fare structures!  :o

(But I won't: I'll save that word for when RyanAir takes over our rail services.)
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.