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Passenger Rail Franchising in 2017

Incumbent railway operators are hoping to stay on track for 2017, as two opportunities worth an approximate total of £115m become available for competing franchises.

The passenger rail franchising system was created in 1993 by The Department for Transport, with the first franchises coming into effect in 1996, to encourage a competitive passenger rail market in Great Britain. There are currently 16 rail networks, of which the re-franchising is staggered to avoid the complication of all 16 re-franchises occurring simultaneously.

After a competitive bidding process, successful franchises will secure operations for approximately 10 years. Franchises that have previously completed the PQQ stage are granted a passport, allowing them to bypass future PQQ stages and advance straight to the ITT stage.

The two railway networks being re-opened for new franchises in 2017 are:

  • East Midlands Rail from June
  • South Eastern Rail from September.

The current respective incumbents are East Midlands Trains (owned by Stagecoach) and Southeastern, both of which have been operating these rail networks for 10-11 years. The recent annual subsidy/premium for the two franchises are £82.6m and £32.5m respectively.

The Bid Team provided writing and editing resources for Arriva in 2015, securing its position as incumbent in the re-franchising of Northern Rail. Contact The Bid Team to find out how we can help you secure your company’s position as incumbent, win a new franchising opportunity, or how we can support any upcoming bidding or tendering work.