WCML InterCity Franchise

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Whistler40145, 19 Apr 2019.

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  1. FManc

    FManc Member

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    It looks like Stagecoach are starting legal proceedings against the DfT in regards to the East Midlands franchise. There is also a reference to the WCP bid and possible legal proceedings being instigated.

    https://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/SGC/14067002.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 2 Jun 2019
  2. Japan0913

    Japan0913 On Moderation

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    by the way,
    Can the XC franchiser also use the HS2 route from Birmingham to York?
    Can EMR franchises also use the HS2 route from Midland to York?

    WC Partnership franchiser only use both WC Mainline and HS2?

    Is it OK to mix about 200 mph of trains and about 140 mph of trains?

    Will at least EMR and XC need a vehicle with the same ability as WCP?

    Is there a problem that WCP monopolizes HS2?
     
  3. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Both these franchises will be specified and relet, probably more than once, before HS2 Phase 2 opens, so we don't know what the DfT will come up with by then (2033).
    But more importantly, there are no connections between HS2 and the classic routes in Birmingham or Derby/Nottingham.
    There will be new HS2-specific services between London/Birmingham-East Midlands/Leeds/York and then onto classic lines further north.
    But I would say that there is much uncertainly about the future, with the franchise system under review and HS2 Phase 2 itself not certain to be built.

    WCP is defined at the moment as West Coast from Euston via both the classic lines and (when it opens) HS2 Phase 1 (2026).
    Plans for the future of the Midland route and the East Coast route after HS2 Phase 2 opens (2033) are not known.
    Another big decision for Phase 2 is whether the Edinburgh service will run via the West Coast, or stay on the East Coast.
    There's a long way to go yet before all this is decided.
    The go-ahead for HS2 Phase 1 has not been given yet, and Phase 2 still has to get parliamentary approval.
     
  4. coppercapped

    coppercapped Established Member

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    Things have moved on since this post!

    Yesterday (31st May) The Times reported that First Group has capitulated to investors’ demands and proposed breaking itself up with plans to turn itself into an exclusively American business, concentrating on its yellow school bus and university and airport shuttles. It strongly signalled that it would run down its rail interests in the UK, probably keeping GWR and TPE until the end of their franchises. However, the SWR operation is in real financial trouble, and it looks as if First and MTR may write off their bonds, and pull out, just like Stagecoach/Virgin did with VTEC.

    So, this leads to interesting speculation on the consequences for the West Coast Partnership franchise. As you posted, there were three short-listed bidders:
    1. First Trenitalia West Coast Rail Ltd, a joint venture between FirstGroup (70%) and Italian state operator Trenitalia (30%) — presumably now to withdraw, unless Trenitalia takes it over 100%;
    2. MTR West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture of Hong Kong’s MTR Corp, Guangshen Railway Co and RENFE — will MTR be excluded by the DfT if it hands back the keys at SWR?
    3. West Coast Partnership Ltd, a joint venture between Stagecoach (50%), Virgin (30%) and SNCF (20%) — already excluded by the DfT, with a law suit now underway;
    I can foresee a position where the DfT might, at best, have one Chinese/Spanish bidder left for the West Coast franchise and the new HS2 trains being procured for it by the DfT. There won't be any British involvement in the TOC.

    Somehow, I think the government might find it a hard sell for the new HS2 line, paid for by British taxpayers, to be run entirely by foreign companies, after a non-competitive bid.

    (See also the "Will FirstGroup leave the UK in the near future?" thread).
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2019
  5. Japan0913

    Japan0913 On Moderation

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    In the current HS2 plan,
    As you can shorten only about one hour,
    I think it is desirable to raise the existing budget.

    Save time with HS2

    Edinburgh 45 minutes
    Glasgow 54 minutes
    Newcastle 33 minutes
    York 30 minutes
    Leeds 52 minutes
    Sheffield 46 minutes
    East Midlands Hub 51 min
    Preston 44 minutes
    Liverpool 32 minutes
    Manchester 68 minutes
    Birmingham 49 minutes

    The DfT's latest revised estimates of journey times for some major destinations once the line has been built as far as Leeds and Manchester, set out in the January 2012 document High Speed Rail: by Wikipedia.
     
    Last edited: 1 Jun 2019
  6. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    First Group can't say much about its WCP bid while it is being evaluated (and close to award, apparently).
    I would have thought they would wait and see who Dft awards the contract to, and if it is First/Trenitalia they will seek to negotiate acceptable terms.
    They might walk away at this point, or offer the majority share or whole bid to Trenitalia (who seem to be keen on UK contracts just now).
    Rolling stock procurement is separate from the TOC, as we know.
    Who knows how the Stagecoach challenge will turn out, or if it will delay the award.
    Then there's the new PM/SoS/cabinet to declare its policy on HS2.
    Plenty of scope for further delay...
     
  7. Japan0913

    Japan0913 On Moderation

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    I think that existing Westcoast franchises like the direct management of a country like LNER until the WCP bid is decided directly by the HS2 operator.

    It is fine if you buy only vehicles from a Chinese company,
    Relying management of the entire FC to Chinese companies will allow deep intervention by the Chinese government.
    We Asians are very cautious and involved in China.

    Just because China is far from Britain
    If you are not alert and get a loan, you will be in high debt.
    Please be careful.
     
  8. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Royal assent was granted in February 2017.
     
  9. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    But not the final go-ahead (which releases the money for the main construction).
    That can still be withheld by the government.
    Several of the contenders for PM say they would stop/delay/review HS2.
     
  10. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    What will a review show?

    Rail growth - was predicted to be ~50% at opening of Phase 1, is currently ~70% for those regions which benefit from phase 1

    Spending on existing infrastructure enhancements (so not including HS2, maintenance or new trains) - has grown every year since 2009

    Pacer withdrawal - due to happen at least 5 years before any part of HS2 open

    Train lengths - in the last 5 years there was supposed to be >3,000 new coaches delivered whilst in the next 5 years (excluding TfW and EMT franchises) a further >2,000 new coaches due to be delivered.

    For what other reason could they defer the project without proposing an alternative?
     
  11. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Politics.
    Signalling a wider policy change.
    Aping Farage's party policy (whatever it is called this week), or the Greens.
    Lack of money.
    Lack of supporters.
    Poor recent delivery by the rail "establishment" (electrification, new trains, timetables).
    Switching investment from south to north (forgetting that the north needs all of HS2).

    You know the arguments.
    Every time I listen to Any Questions and somebody recommends cancelling HS2, there is a big cheer.
    It all depends on the new PM and Chancellor's view, so the risks of cancellation are growing.
     
  12. w1bbl3

    w1bbl3 Member

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    If First and by extension MTR where to bail on SWR that would surely have consequences on the MTR West Coast partnership bid? is there a real possibility that DfT don't actually have a viable bid for WCR?
    Awarding the franchise to a consortium where the lead partner pulls out is surely open to legal challenge by the other bidders, even if that don't actually want to win the competition.

    The bigger issue here is IMHO how government are going to sort out rail franchising so it works for both the private bidders and the department.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It will be interesting to see. Assuming we keep it, moving back to long franchises and "here's what money you're getting, what can you do for that?" type approaches might do well.
     
  14. StaffsWCML

    StaffsWCML Member

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    I am not sure the government is in a position to award a franchise at present. If they do they are even bigger idiots that I first thought.

    It was due in June, I expect at least a few months delay whilst the new government is decided and what colour.

    That could potentially mean a general election. I presume Corbyn would want to immediate renationalise as much as possible.
     
  15. gka472l

    gka472l Member

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  16. KashmireHawker

    KashmireHawker Member

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  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Least worst option, I can cope with that. At least the awful SNCF and the even more awful Trenitalia are kept as far from it as possible, where they belong.
     
  18. Japan0913

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  19. sufian123

    sufian123 Member

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    Nothing confirmed that’s why
     
  20. EE Andy b1

    EE Andy b1 Member

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    20th June.

    We will see or maybe we will not.
     
  21. Japan0913

    Japan0913 On Moderation

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    HS2: the UK looks to China
    5 DECEMBER 2015
    https://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurehs2-the-uk-looks-to-china-4730716/
    HOW CHINA'S RAILWAYS ARE LEADING TO HIGH-SPEED DEBT:
    By Tom Mitchell and Xinning Liu.
    AUG 19 2018
    https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/how-chinas-railways-are-leading-to-high-speed-debt/88791
    Don't let China take over the UK economy ...
     
  22. StaffsWCML

    StaffsWCML Member

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    All ifs buts and maybes.

    With the change of government I can not really see how this bunch of incompetent idiots could make a decision yet.

    Most of the Tories going for the leadership are anti HS2. Surely Grayling should be fired in any new cabinet.

    There are also the legal cases. It would seem a bad choice to make awards now when nothing is certain.

    Of course a Corbyn government could lead to complete renationalisation in the event of a GE.
     
  23. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Indeed!
     
  24. KashmireHawker

    KashmireHawker Member

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    Probably not, but only an hour and 20 to find out
     
  25. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    I wonder where the BBC "understood" this news from?
     
  26. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Any news?
     
  27. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    No news this morning.
    Routine contract decisions might be made and announced while we wait for a new PM and cabinet, but this one is definitely not routine.

    Boris looks to be leading the PM competition.
    I think Chris Grayling is in his camp, and certainly of his outlook, so rumours of his departure might be premature.

    "Nationalisation" is a long way off, and even Corbyn can't destroy private sector contracts overnight.
    Besides, he doesn't yet understand what it means, and the Tories might yet change the system radically following Williams.
    Awarding a WCP contract now begs all those questions down the track, not to mention being impacted by the status of HS2.
     
  28. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Graylings Departure is probably very likely but not certain. A cabinet reshuffle will happen after the next PM is announced and takes office. Though I think the WC Franchise should be delayed until after the Williams Review

    Grayling is with Team Boris
     
  29. EE Andy b1

    EE Andy b1 Member

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    So maybe not then, again!!:rolleyes:

    Our fabulous Government and MPs seem to be in some sort of disarray at the moment for some reason, so nothing gets sorted, it's all a flawed process anyway!

    Grayling, hanging on to Johnson, hoping to keep a job of some sort.:frown:

    Let's wait for that Williams review and take the WCP back in house.:D

    November now then. Sorry! :smile:
     
  30. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    How do you achieve the objective of the WCP franchise competition (DfT announcement when the competition started):
    by taking the franchise in-house?

    The WCML is one thing, but HS2 is not in NR ownership and is not part of the Williams review.
    The government intended to sell the commercial rights to run trains on HS2 to the private sector, like it has done on HS1.
     
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