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Tuesday 01 April, 2003

Strategic Rail Auth

Three qualify for Anglia

Strategic Rail Authority
01 April 2003



                   Three Qualify For New Greater Anglia Franchise

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) announced today that three parties have 
qualified as bidders for the new Greater Anglia franchise, under the terms of 
the new franchise policy published last Autumn.

•        The parties are: Arriva Trains Ltd; GB Railways Plc; National Express 
                          Group PLC

•        The SRA's new franchising policy marks a radical departure for 
         passengers and operators.  It provides train companies with clear 
         guidelines and incentives on customer service and on business 
         priorities.

•        The new franchise will incorporate existing Anglia Railways, Great 
         Eastern and West Anglia rail services after the end of current 
         franchises in 2004, in line with the SRA's policy of one operator for 
         major London termini.

•        The franchise will be of up to ten years' duration, depending on final 
         bids.

•        In the next stage of the franchising process, the SRA will invite the 
         three parties to submit detailed bids.

•        The SRA expects to announce a preferred bidder in Spring 2004.


Richard Bowker, SRA Chairman, said:

'The essence of the new franchise policy is to give greater clarity and
certainty to bidders about what we expect on behalf of passengers.  The
qualification threshold was set at a very demanding level indeed to ensure the
best possible competition on behalf of passengers and taxpayers.  This
franchising revolution is a very real step towards the industry presenting
itself as fit for purpose to passengers and investors.'

Notes to Editors

1.      The Greater Anglia franchise will combine the existing Anglia and Great
Eastern franchises, and the West Anglia (Liverpool Street) services from the
WAGN franchise (including Stansted Express).  The new franchise will achieve
passenger service and operational benefits through combining all Liverpool
Street services, but the successful operator will also be required to provide a
separate management focus for local East Anglia services.


2.      All three current franchises (Anglia Railways, Great Eastern and West 
Anglia) are due to expire on 31 March 2004.

3.      Separate arrangements will be made in relation to Great Northern 
services which are currently part of the WAGN franchise.  Options for the future 
of Great Northern services are currently being considered.


For further details contact the SRA Press Office on 020 7654 6339/ 6234/ 6387

                                        Or visit the website on www.sra.gov.uk




                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange