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Stagecoach And Virgin Join SNCF For UK West Coast Rail Franchise Bid

Tue, 25th Apr 2017 08:37

PARIS (Alliance News) - Stagecoach Group PLC and Virgin Group said they are joining forces with French high speed operator SNCF to bid for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

The UK government has announced that the West Coast Partnership franchise will run from 2019. The franchise will include current West Coast services and the first few years of operation of High Speed 2 or HS2 services.

Stagecoach has a 50% share in the bid vehicle, West Coast Partnership Ltd, with a 30% share held by SNCF, and the remaining 20% is owned by Virgin. It is envisaged that services under a successful bid would carry the Virgin brand.

Virgin, Stagecoach and SNCF have already worked together on the first stage of the West Coast Partnership bid, the "Expression of Interest", which was submitted yesterday. The partners will now prepare for the "Invitation to Tender" which is expected to be issued by the end of the year.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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