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Wednesday 24 September, 2003

Strategic Rail Auth

TransPennine Express Signed

Strategic Rail Authority
24 September 2003

                 New TransPennine Express Franchise Signed

•         The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) today announced that it has signed 
          a franchise agreement with FGK, a consortium of FirstGroup plc and 
          Keolis SA for the new TransPennine Express franchise, following the 
          signing of Heads of Terms last month.

•         The franchise will operate services on principal inter-city routes 
          across the North of England.

•         An order for new trains for use on the TransPennine services was also 
          signed today.

•         The new franchise is planned to commence in early 2004.  It will run 
          for eight years with the option to extend for up to a further five 

               For further details contact the SRA Press Office on 
                          020 7654 6339/6387/6234/6862

          Latest news and announcements from the SRA can be viewed on our 

                      This information is provided by RNS
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