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National Express (NEX)

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Tuesday 19 September, 2006

National Express

Confirmed short-listed bidder

National Express Group PLC
19 September 2006



19 September 2006


                   National Express Group PLC ('the company')

 Confirmed short-listed bidder for the East Midlands and New Cross Country rail
                                   franchises


Following today's announcement by the Department for Transport ('DfT'), National
Express Group ('the Group'), one of the UK's major train operators, is pleased
to announce that it has been short-listed by the DfT  for the new East Midlands
and New Cross Country franchises.  These two new franchises, which have been
remapped from the existing Cross Country, Silverlink County, Midland Mainline
and Central Trains franchises, will be formally awarded next year and are
scheduled to commence in November 2007.


Moving forward, the Group looks forward to receipt of the invitation to tender
documents which are expected within the next month.  Completed bids are expected
to be submitted to the DfT in February next year.


Commenting on today's news, Richard Bowker, Chief Executive, National Express
Group said:  'We are delighted to have made the shortlists for these new
franchises. We are very proud of what we have achieved in our Midlands
franchises - Central Trains, Midland Mainline and Silverlink County culminating
in Midland Mainline being Britain's most reliable high speed intercity railway.'


'The reorganisation of a large slice of the UK rail network to form East
Midlands and the New Cross Country network provides an exciting opportunity to
make rail the mode of choice for ever increasing numbers of customers.  As part
of our bid we are developing exciting and innovative ideas that will set even
higher standards for customer service and value for money. We look forward to
submitting our bids.'


                                    - ENDS -



Notes for Editors



•       National Express Group operates a mix of inter-city, rural, commuter and
airport services. Its train brands include c2c, Central Trains, Gatwick Express,
Midland Mainline, 'one', Silverlink County and Silverlink Metro.



•       The new East Midlands franchise, to commence in November 2007,  will
comprise the whole of the current Midland Mainline franchise linking London with
Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, and Sheffield, and a portion of the Central Trains
franchise covering Liverpool - Nottingham - Norwich, local Nottingham services,
and rural regional services in the East Midlands and Lincolnshire. The new
franchise will run for seven years, four months and 20 days.



•       New Cross Country, to commence in November 2007 will include the current
Cross Country franchise with the exception of Birmingham - Glasgow/Edinburgh via
Carlisle, Manchester - Glasgow/Edinburgh via Carlisle and Reading to Brighton
services. It will also include two of the current Central Trains Citylink
services: Birmingham-Stansted Airport and Nottingham-Birmingham-Cardiff. The
franchise will run for eight years and four months.



•       National Express Group is one of four short-listed bidders who has been
invited to tender for the London Rail Concession by Transport for London. Bids
will be submitted in October 2006. In June the Group submitted a joint bid for
the South Western rail franchise with MTR Corporation Limited.



•       In early September, Midland Mainline picked up the highly coveted
Passenger Operator of the Year award at the National Rail Awards. MML beat off
six competitors for the title at the awards which celebrate excellence and
achievement in the rail industry.





For further information, please contact:


Nicola Marsden/Georgina Parkes
National Express Group PLC                           020 7529 2000

Andrew Dowler/Ben Foster
Financial Dynamics                                   020 7831 3113




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