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Friday 17 September, 2004

National Express

re Silverlink Franchise

National Express Group PLC
17 September 2004



For immediate release



Friday 17th September 2004





                             National Express Group PLC

        Silverlink - Two year franchise extension negotiations completed



National Express Group ('the Group'), the UK's leading train operator, are
pleased to announce that we have agreed a two-year extension to our Silverlink
train franchise following the completion of negotiations with the Strategic Rail
Authority ('SRA').  This franchise has been extended until October 2006.



The services comprise Silverlink County between Northampton and London and
Silverlink Metro operating through north, east and west London. The original
Silverlink franchise was awarded in February 1997 and has annual passenger
revenues of approximately £100 million.



The new extension terms do not materially change the current level of franchise
support.



Commenting on the extension Phil White, Chief Executive of National Express
Group said:



'We are delighted that the terms of the two year extension have now been agreed.
This brings a further two years' stability to the franchise and underlines the
strength of our rail division.



'Following today's announcement we will focus on improving operational
performance on this franchise.  Against the background of the West Coast
Mainline Route Modernisation, we will ensure that Silverlink County customers
continue to experience a quality service.  We will also develop services on the
North London Line, working in partnership with Transport for London.'



                                    - ENDS -



Notes to Editors



  • Since privatisation Silverlink's passenger growth has increased by 25%.
  • It has invested £13 million to refurbish Silverlink County's mainline
    fleet of trains.
  • Almost £2 million has been invested in the route including station
    refurbishment, CCTV and customer investment.


For further information, please contact:

Nicola Marsden, Director of Group Communications
Fiona Noblet, Group Communications Manager
National Express Group PLC                                020 7529 2000

Andrew Dowler/Dido Laurimore
Financial Dynamics                                        020 7831 3113






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