The Department for Transport today announced the qualified bidders for the new cross country; east midlands and west midlands rail franchises.
New Cross Country franchise: Arriva Trains Cross Country Limited (Arriva Group), First Cross Country Limited (First Group), NXC Trains Limited (National Express Group), Virgin Voyager Trains Ltd (Virgin Rail Group).East Midlands franchise: Arriva Trains East Midlands Limited (Arriva Group), First East Midlands Limited (First Group), NXE Trains Limited (National Express Group), Stagecoach Midland Rail Limited (Stagecoach Group).West Midlands franchise: London & Birmingham Railway Limited (Govia), MTR Corporation (UK) Limited (MTR Corporation of Hong Kong), Serco NedRailways West Midlands Limited (a Joint Venture between Serco and NedRailways).In addition Chiltern Railways (M40 Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of John Laing plc) are being invited to submit a separate proposal for the Snow Hill services in Birmingham. The DfT issued an advertisement in June 2006 inviting expressions of interest in the franchises by 31 July 2006. DfT will now invite the parties to submit detailed bids by issuing Invitations to Tender during Autumn 2006. The closing date for bids is February 2007 and winners will be announced in Summer 2007.The three new operating franchises will commence on 11 November 2007.