Crossrail operations director Howard Smith has said he is “delighted” with the shortlist of companies bidding to run services on the line from May 2015.
The four bidders announced this week were Arriva, a Keolis/Go Ahead joint venture, MTR Corporation and National Express.
Smith told delegates at NCE’s London Rail Conference that he “couldn’t think of a better group of people” to deliver the step change in rail service operation the company is looking for.
He said there were two crucial areas for the bidders to focus on: “the ability to integrate with the existing network and a passion for customer service”.
The franchise to run Crossrail services will be awarded at the end of 2014. The successful train operator will start running services from May 2015 between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, taking over the stopping services currently operated by Greater Anglia.
The route through Canary Wharf, the City and the West End will open in late 2018, with the full route running in 2019.