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Thursday 02 November, 2000

Shadow StrategicRail

Re TransPennine Shortlist

Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
2 November 2000

 Four Shortlisted for New TransPennine Express Franchise 
Four parties have been shortlisted to compete for the new TransPennine
Express franchise, a new strategic franchise designed to improve fast rail
services across the North of England. 
The new franchise will link Liverpool and Manchester with Leeds, York,
Newcastle and Sheffield as well as other key towns and cities in the North
West and North East. Commitments will include the progressive improvement of
rail links to Manchester Airport, together with enhanced frequencies and
journey times on key TransPennine routes. 
The shortlisted parties are: 
*Arriva plc (franchisee of Northern Spirit and Merseyrail.) 
*Connex Transport UK Ltd (franchisee of South Eastern, and also South Central
pending handover to GoVia) 
*Serco Rail (operators of Manchester Metrolink) 
*ViaGTI in partnership with FirstGroup plc. (ViaGTI are partners in GoVia
which runs the London Thameslink franchise and it is also the preferred
Counterparty for South Central. FirstGroup run the Great Eastern, Great
Western and North Western franchises.) 
Mike Grant, Franchising Director and Chief Executive of the sSRA said: 
'TransPennine Express is designed to offer many benefits for those who travel
and live in the North of England, offering a genuine alternative to the
congested motorway and trunk road network, and additional capacity to reflect
the growth forecast for Manchester Airport. 
'This new franchise has attracted keen interest both from existing and
would-be operators. By providing fast, frequent and reliable rail services
between large towns and cities and key rail, air, sea and road interchanges,
Transpennine Express will encourage the greater use of rail throughout the
North of England. Its objective is to offer upgraded, fast services in the
Leeds and Sheffield to Manchester corridors, opening up many new journey
opportunities in and around the region. 
'I am confident that we are taking forward exciting and robust proposals. The
number of parties is expected to come down to two early in the New Year, when
we reach the next round. We shall need to take time to allow proposals to be
put together in the light of the pressure of current network problems on
operators.  Ultimately I aim to select the best deal for
passengers, delivering an innovative and strategic approach to the future
operation of the TransPennine Express franchise.'  
Notes to Editors 
1.A map detailing the existing TransPennine  is available from sSRA. Bidders
are expected to expand and develop on this. 
2.TransPennine Express is a new franchise designed to offer frequent, fast
and high quality train services in the North of England between: 
Towns and cities including Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Hull, York,
Newcastle, Scarborough, Middlesborough, Preston, Doncaster and Sheffield and
other key destinations including Manchester Airport 
3. Other intended benefits include: 
*A quality alternative to the M62 , M56, M6 and A1 (M) 
*Good links with other local and long distance rail operators in the North
East and North West 
4. After South West Trains, this is the second franchise to reach the
shortlist stage from the second batch of four brought to the market by the
sSRA in March. The other two franchises are Wales and Borders and Central
Trains, both of which will be shortlisted soon. 
5. The new TransPennine Express franchise was announced in March and featured
in the sSRA's re-drawn franchise map issued in June, as did the proposed
Northern franchise, which will offer more local services to the region served
by TransPennine. 
6. The new franchise will also serve five Passenger Transport Executive (PTE)
regions. The sSRA is working closely with the PTEs in Greater Manchester,
Merseyside (Merseytravel), Nexus (Tyne & Wear), South Yorkshire and West
Media Enquiries: sSRA Press Office 020 7654 6339/ 6294/ 6234 
Important Notice 
This news release is issued by the Franchising Director and its contents have
been approved for the purposes of section 57 of the Financial Services Act
1986 by KPMG Corporate Finance. 
KPMG Corporate Finance is a division of KPMG which is authorised to carry on
investment business by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and
Wales. This news release has been prepared for general information purposes
only and is not intended to form the basis of any investment decision or
constitute an offer or invitation to bid for any passenger rail franchise or
to acquire shares in a train operating company. Neither this news release nor
any copy of it should be taken into or distributed in Canada, France, Japan
or the United States except in accordance with an applicable exemption. The
distribution of this news release in other jurisdictions may be restricted by
law and therefore persons into whose possession this news release comes
should inform themselves about and observe any such restrictions. 
KPMG Corporate Finance is acting for the Franchising Director and will not
regard any other person as its client in relation to passenger railway
franchising or be responsible to anyone other than the Franchising Director
for providing the protections afforded to clients of KPMG Corporate Finance
nor for advising any other person on the contents of this news release or any
matter referred to in it.  


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