The Department for Transport has said that it ‘seeks to obtain a Direct Award for up to 10 years’ of the West Coast Partnership.
The contract for West Coast Partnership Rail Services is currently operated by First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd.
The Department for Transport hopes to start the new contract on the 1st April 2022, with the contract lasting for up to 10 years.
The document released details of envisaged services, including:
- London Euston to Lichfield Trent Valley, Crewe, Preston and Glasgow Central;
- Lichfield Trent Valley to Macclesfield and Manchester Piccadilly;
- Crewe to Wilmslow and Manchester Piccadilly;
- Crewe to Chester, Wrexham General and Holyhead;
- Crewe to Liverpool Lime Street;
- Preston to Blackpool North;
- Carlisle to Edinburgh;
- London Euston to Coventry, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury;
- Wolverhampton to Stafford; and
- Birmingham New Street to Wolverhampton, Stafford, Crewe and Glasgow or Edinburgh.
The Department for Transport already has, through the Operator of Last Resort, the Northern and London North Eastern Railway franchise.
A spokesperson for FirstGroup, who part operates the Avanti West Coast franchise, told RailAdvent: “We welcome the Department for Transport’s Prior Information Notice which indicates the duration of the West Coast Partnership’s National Rail Contract may be up to ten years, to March 2032. We look forward to working with the DfT on the new contract, which will be customer-centric and with an appropriate balance of risk and reward for all parties.”
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