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National Express (NEX)

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Tuesday 20 February, 2007

National Express

Inter-City East Coast rail

National Express Group PLC
20 February 2007


                           National Express Group PLC

 National Express Group shortlisted to bid for Inter-City East Coast franchise


National Express Group is delighted to be shortlisted by the Department for
Transport ('DfT') to bid to run the prestigious Inter-City East Coast rail
franchise.

National Express runs the UK's top performing Inter-City rail company, Midland
Mainline, which was voted Passenger Operator of the Year in 2006. Its rail
portfolio also includes c2c which is officially Britain's best performing
railway and tops the rail industry league tables.

The Group is currently putting the finishing touches to its rail bids for two
other new rail franchises, East Midlands and New Cross Country, after being
shortlisted in these competitions last November. These will be submitted to the
DfT in late February and early March respectively.

Commenting on today's announcement Richard Bowker, Chief Executive of National
Express Group said: 'We are delighted to have reached the next stage of the
competition for this very important franchise. Through our bid, we will bring a
world class level of customer service and quality as well as our industry
leading track record in performance and delivery. We will offer a proposal that
will make Inter-City East Coast a truly world class railway.'

'As with any franchise bid, it is vital that key stakeholders along the East
Coast route are consulted and their views taken into account. We have already
started this process by meeting MPs from constituencies along the route at the
House of Commons earlier this month and we will ensure we speak to as many
people as possible to hear what they want for their railway. '

Interested stakeholders, passengers and members of the public on the route are
invited to post their comments and ideas via the franchise information page on
the Group website at www.nationalexpressgroup.com

                                    - ENDS -


Notes to Editors:

• National Express Group serves more than one billion passengers a year
  worldwide on its bus, train, light rail and express coach and airport 
  operations. We have leading positions in each of our markets - the United
  Kingdom, North America and Spain. Over 25% of our operations are now in
  international markets.

• National Express Group is one of the UK's leading train operating companies 
  with six franchises within its portfolio; c2c, Silverlink, Central Trains, 
  Gatwick Express, Midland Mainline and 'one' incorporating Stansted Express.

• National Express Group has been shortlisted for two upcoming rail franchises: 
  East Midlands and New Cross Country. The New Cross Country and East Midlands 
  bids will be submitted to the DfT in February 2007.

• The current timeframe for the East Coast bid is now:-

        o The 'Invitation to Tender' document will be issued to short listed 
          bidders - March 2007

        o The deadline for bid submission - June 2007

        o Negotiations will take place and a final decision will be made -
          July/August 2007

        o The commencement of new franchise - Late Autumn 2007


For further information, please contact:

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







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