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National Express (NEX)

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Wednesday 08 March, 2000

National Express

Rail Franchise Replacement Programme

National Express Group PLC
8 March 2000

                          National Express Group PLC                          
                     Rail Franchise Replacement Programme                     

We are pleased that the SSRA has today invited interested
parties to pre-qualify for three rail franchises,
including the franchise for Central Trains which we
currently operate. We have already submitted to the SSRA
an innovative menu of ideas to create additional
capacity, to improve services and to stimulate and cope
with the substantial growth which is anticipated over the
two decades across Central Trains' extensive network. We
look forward to developing these ideas further over the
next few weeks.

With five franchises - Central, Gatwick Express, Midland
Mainline, Silverlink and ScotRail -  National Express is
currently the owner of the largest number of train
operating companies in the UK . We are looking forward to
working with the SSRA to make its vision for a railway
system for the 21st Century become a reality. We are
prepared to make a long term commitment to developing
passenger rail services, provided we can be satisfied
that this will deliver good returns for our shareholders.

We have also submitted other proposals to the SSRA
including for the Silverlink County Line and London
orbital routes and, jointly with BAA, to integrate the
Stansted Express with the Heathrow and Gatwick Express
services. We also look forward to developing these
further in due course.

For further information:
William Rollason,              
Finance Director
Richard Brown,                 
Commercial Director
Helen McCorry,                 
Group Communications Manager
National Express Group PLC     020 7529 2000