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Friday 01 April, 2005

National Express

Re: Rail Franchises

National Express Group PLC
01 April 2005

1 April 2005

                           National Express Group PLC

     Shortlisted for the Greater Western and Thameslink/GN Train franchises

National Express Group PLC ('the Group'), the leading international passenger
transport company, welcomes today's announcement from the Strategic Rail
Authority confirming that the Group has been shortlisted to bid for both the new
Greater Western and Thameslink/GN rail franchises.

Commenting, Phil White, Chief Executive of the Group said:

'We are delighted to have been shortlisted for both these franchises. We have
experience and success in managing a complex mix of inter-city, commuter,
cross-country and local services, combining business, commuter and leisure
services. We also have strong roots in the West Country through our Wessex
Trains franchise and in London through our Wagn (GN), c2c, Silverlink and 'one'
train franchises. In addition, we have a successful record of smoothly
amalgamating train franchises to bring benefits for our customers and

'We place great emphasis on listening to the views of stakeholders in preparing
our bids.  With this in mind, we have already commenced our consultation
programme for both franchises and this will continue as the bid process
continues. We look forward to receiving the Invitation to Tenders for the two
franchises in June.'

                                  - E N D S -

For further information

Fiona Noblet/Nicola Marsden                           020 7529 2000

Notes to Editors:

•        National Express Group is the most experienced operator of train
franchises in the UK operating a mix of inter-city, rural, commuter and airport
services. Its train brands include c2c, Central Trains, Gatwick Express, Midland
Mainline, 'one', Silverlink, Wagn and Wessex Trains, which will become part of
the Greater Western franchise.

•        A dedicated website and brochure have been created for the bid, the
brochure can be downloaded at or

•        The Greater Western franchise is due to commence in April 2006 for a
period of seven years plus three extra years extension if agreed performance
targets are met.

•        The Thameslink/GN franchise is due to commence in April 2006 for four
years plus two extra years if agreed performance targets are met, with a
possible further extension for up to three years to facilitate work on the
delayed Thameslink 2000 project.

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