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Stagecoach Hldgs. (SGC)

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Monday 02 April, 2001

Stagecoach Hldgs.

Re: South West Trains

Stagecoach Holdings PLC
2 April 2001

                                                                  2 April 2001


Stagecoach welcomes today's decision by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) to
make the Group preferred bidder for the new South West Trains franchise.
Stagecoach Group will now move to conclude negotiations for London's biggest
train order, providing new rolling stock for South West Trains.

A total of £1.7 billion is committed to investment in trains and
infrastructure, including 800 new vehicles. These new trains will begin to be
delivered from the end of next year, and will enable slam-door trains to be
eliminated from the South West Trains network by the end of 2004.

Keith Cochrane, Stagecoach Group Chief Executive, welcomed the decision by the
Strategic Rail Authority. 'The SRA has clearly understood the problems of
Britain's biggest commuter railway, and its early decision means that we can
begin work to transform the service to our passengers at the earliest possible
opportunity. I am also delighted that the decision removes any uncertainty
about the future for our staff.

'Our promise is to achieve the step-change in customer service that our
passengers have a right to expect. We will work closely with the SRA and
passenger groups to build a new railway for the 21st century.

'Today is the beginning of a new era for South West Trains.'

Inquiries to:

Robert Ballantyne, Stagecoach Group                                01738 442111
John Kiely, Smithfield Financial                                  020 7360 4900
Jane Lee, South West Trains                                       020 7620 5678

Notes to editors: Stagecoach Group's bid to retain the South West Trains
franchise was announced in February 2001, when Stagecoach appointed Siemens
and Angel Trains as preferred bidders for new trains under its procurement
process. The bid, including options, is valued at around £4 billion, and
includes longer trains and longer platforms at almost every station on the
network; extensive upgrading of Waterloo, Clapham Junction, and other main
stations; plus immediate investment in 800 new vehicles, with the earliest
being delivered by late 2002.

Full details of Stagecoach Group's vision for South West Trains can be seen on
our website at


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