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Thursday 17 August, 2000

Shadow StrategicRail

SouthWest Trains Franchise

Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
17 August 2000

Building a Better Railway: 
Three Parties Shortlisted for South West Trains Franchise 
The Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (sSRA) today announced that three parties
have been shortlisted to compete for the South West Trains franchise. The
companies selected are: 
Stagecoach Holdings plc (franchisee of South West Trains and Island
FirstGroup plc (franchisee of Great Eastern, Great Western and North Western)
in association with Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) 
GNER Holdings Limited (subsidiary of Sea Containers Limited and franchisee of
SSRA Chief Executive, Mike Grant, said: 
'The South West Trains franchisee is a significant operator in the rail
network, with many thousands of commuters depending on its services for their
daily journey to work. Replacement of this franchise is a prerequisite to
providing relief to the current pressure that exists on capacity in the
approach to Waterloo.' 
'The decision to shortlist these three companies follows careful
consideration of the proposals we received. We will now be embarking on
negotiations to decide the future owner of this franchise. Throughout this
process our key aims will be to ensure the best possible deal for the
passenger, with strong investment commitments and improved customer service,
along with value for the taxpayer.' 

Notes to Editors

The replacement franchise proposal is based on the existing South West
Trains franchise, with the option to include or exclude services between
Waterloo and Salisbury/Exeter.

Connex Rail had pre-qualified to submit proposals for the South West
Trains franchise but was unsuccessful in moving forward to the negotiation

Announcements will be made within the next few weeks on the shortlists
for the other two franchises in the second round of replacement - Central
Trains and Transpennine Express.

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.  
Media Enquiries: SSRA Press Office 020 7654 6339/6294/6387/6234 
Further information and announcements by the SSRA are contained on our


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