Following in the wake of the moan about Virgin Trains, a good item regarding the re-franchising of rail services was broadcast in today’s BBC Radio 4 consumer affairs programme, “You and Yours”.
Here’s a BBC iPlayer link to the article – may not work outside the UK, and will expire in the fullness of time.
Tony Miles, a contributor to the rail industry magazine, Modern Railways, explained that the Government will be re-letting a number of UK passenger railway franchises in the coming years, and that a number of European state-owned railway companies are not only showing interest in UK rail franchises, but are already proving successful in winning them, such as the impending takeover of services out of Liverpool Street by Abellio, the International commercial arm of the Dutch railway company, NS, who already operate services in the North of England under a JV with Serco (Northern Rail and Merseyrail).
The Europeans are interested in grabbing a slice of the British pie for two main reasons, firstly because there is some money to be made, and secondly because the privatisation, franchising or deregulation of their home markets is proceeding at a slow pace.
Continue reading “Rail Re-franchising: Be careful what you wish for!”