“If we had had these mechanisms with TransPennine Express and SWR, we would not have had to put in place binding regulations. We have made it public that the balance between risk and reward must be correct, and we believe that this franchise offers us that possibility. We re-established the contract in 2026, and if HS2 is late, the government will have the option to extend the period and overhaul the revenues and costs limited to that date. In order to avoid financial problems that affect several other franchises, DfT will implement a forecast revenue mechanism, supported by an annual review “to ensure that the partnership is improved in an efficient, collaborative and continuous manner”. Matthew Gregory, Chief Executive of FirstGroup, said: “The differences between this contract and the more traditional rail franchises have been reflected in the conditions set by the DfT, which has allowed for a more equitable balance of risks and opportunities for us as operators. The first phase of the West Coast Partnership allows us to achieve returns through the significant investments made in passenger services and facilities, which are protected by a much improved revenue risk-sharing mechanism. This will move to a management contract in the second phase, to ensure that we can really focus on using the skills and experience of our joint venture to achieve the desired benefits of the HS2 project for passengers and the country. The final award is subject to the statutory standstill period. First Trenitalia would from 8 December 1, replace Virgin Rail Group coupling Virgin and Stagecoach as operator of the InterCity West Coast franchise and will also act as a “ghost operator” during the development of HS2. The losing bidder MTR Corp, which had partnered with RENFE and China`s Guangshen Railway, said it was “very disappointed that our joint venture offer for the West Coast Partnership franchise was unsuccessful.” Virgin Stagecoach-SNCF`s offer had already been disqualified during a dispute over future pension payment risks. These investments, combined with additional routes and other schedule changes, are expected to result in an average annual growth rate of around 1.2% for passenger-kilometres. Passenger revenues are expected to reach €1.2 billion between 2018 and €19 billion. GBP, with a “one-digit CAGR average,” which, according to FirstGroup, “is below the historical growth rate for the franchise over the past decade.” Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, said he was “devastated” for the “members of our Virgin family who have worked tirelessly to become the top-rated franchise of customers in the UK. We have been leaders in the sector for more than twenty years and have almost tripled the number of passenger journeys, from 14 m in 1997 to more than 40 m. For over 20 years, our employees have shown the rest of the industry how to do this, and we wanted this to continue for many years to come. » Contract for the provision of long-distance rail services on the UK conventional rail network.
They serve the main cities of London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. (a) London Euston and Lichfield Trent Valley, Crewe, Preston and Glasgow Central are planned; (b) Lichfield Trent Valley in Macclesfield and Manchester Piccadilly; (c) crewe at Wilmslow and Manchester Piccadilly; (d) Crewe in Chester, Wrexham General and Holyhead; (e) Crewe at Liverpool Lime Street; (f) Preston at Blackpool North; (g) Carlisle in Edinburgh; (h) London Euston in Coventry, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury; (i) Wolverhampton to Stafford; and (j) Birmingham New Street in Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe and Glasgow or Edinburgh. There is a mix of leisure, business and commuters. These services are similar to those currently operated in the West Coast Partnership franchise. In addition, the contract may also contain provisions to support the planning and preparation of HS2 services and works, for example to minimise disruption to passengers….