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Wednesday 23 April, 2003

Strategic Rail Auth

Merseyrail Contract Announced

Strategic Rail Authority
23 April 2003


                                                                   23 April 2003


                   SRA Announce Merseyrail Contract Award

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) today announced that Serco Ltd/NS Dutch
Railways has been has been selected as the preferred bidder for the Merseyrail
Electrics contract to operate local passenger train services in the Merseyside
area. Serco Ltd/NS Dutch Railways will take over the services on 20 July 2003
when the current interim agreement with Arriva Trains Merseyside expires.

The decision comes after a full and competitive tendering process by the SRA and
Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) to select an operator for
Merseyrail Electrics services.

The successful candidate will now have a limited period in which to reach
contract signature with Merseyside PTE.

Notes
     
1.   The Merseyrail Electrics franchise includes passenger rail services between 
     Liverpool and Southport, Ormskirk, Kirkby, Hunts Cross, New Brighton,
     West Kirby, Chester and Ellesmere Port.  The services, the greater part of 
     which are supported by, and operate to, the specification of Merseytravel, 
     are currently operated by Arriva Trains Merseyside.

2.   The parliamentary order exempting Merseyrail Electrics from the SRA's 
     franchising responsibility has been passed by Parliament and comes into 
     effect on 20th July 2003.  From this date, Merseytravel will assume 
     responsibility for the letting and management of the Merseyrail Electrics 
     services

                             Enquiries: 020 7654 6339


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