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Department For Transport: 13 Bidders In Running For New Franchises

Date : 03/29/2012 @ 2:53AM
Source : Dow Jones News

Department For Transport: 13 Bidders In Running For New Franchises

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The U.K. Department For Transport said Thursday 13 firms are in the running to become the next operators of the Great Western, Thameslink and Essex Thameside rail franchises and introduce better train services, safer stations and more convenient ways to buy tickets.

MAIN FACTS:

-Firms bidding to take over the franchises have been chosen following a pre-qualification process.

-Bidders for Great Western franchise:

* First Great Western Trains Ltd.--FirstGroup PLC (FGP.LN)

* GW Trains Ltd.--Arriva U.K. Trains Ltd. - DB (U.K.) Investments Ltd.

* NXGW Trains Ltd.--National Express Group PLC (NEX.LN)

* Stagecoach Great Western Trains--Stagecoach Group PLC (SGC.LN)

-Potential providers will receive the invitation to tender which is anticipated will be issued in May; it is anticipated that the successful bidder will be announced in December, with the contract starting in April 2013.

-length of the franchise term will be 15 years.

-Bidders for Essex Thameside franchise:

* Abellio Essex Thameside Ltd.--NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen

* First Essex Thameside Ltd-- FirstGroup

* MTR Corporation (Essex Thameside) Ltd.--MTR Corporation Ltd. (0066.HK)

* NXET Trains Ltd.--National Express Group

-Potential providers will receive the invitation to tender which is anticipated will be issued in June; it is anticipated the successful bidder will be announced in January 2013, with the contract starting in May 2013.

-Length of the franchise term will be 15 years.

-Bidders for Thameslink franchise:

* Abellio Thameslink Ltd.--NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen

* First Thameslink Ltd.--FirstGroup

* Govia Thameslink Railway Ltd.--Go-Ahead Group PLC (GOG.LN) and Keolis SA

* MTR Corporation (Thameslink) Ltd.--MTR Corporation Ltd.

* Stagecoach Thameslink Trains Ltd.--Stagecoach Group

-Potential providers will receive the invitation to tender which is anticipated will be issued in October; it is anticipated that the successful bidder will be announced in May 2013, with the contract starting in September 2013.

-Length of the franchise will be a minimum of seven years, with pricing also required for a potential extension of up to two years at the discretion of the Secretary of State.

-By Ian Walker, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-20-7842-9296; ian.walker@dowjones.com



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