Who do you think will win the new Greater Western franchise?

Who do you think will win the new Greater Western franchise?

  • First Great Western

    Votes: 87 56.5%
  • Stagecoach

    Votes: 32 20.8%
  • National Express

    Votes: 6 3.9%
  • Deutche Bahn

    Votes: 29 18.8%

  • Total voters
    154
  • Poll closed .
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Greenback

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Including taking the option to walk away from the last years of their franchise to avoid paying millions back to us the taxpaying travellers .

So anyone but First please

If it's an option, they are entitled to exercise that option and walk away. Just as you can with an option to extend a lease, for example.
 
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Pen Mill

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I have to hand it to FGW, they've done a brilliant job; the transformation over the last 7 or so years is very impressive. I'd like them to keep it, but I wouldn't mind really if DB or SC got their hands on it, I don't think they're bad companies.
I have a personal grudge against First for shutting me off a train running 52 seconds late when my incoming train (First) was 8 minutes late.

Having said that and being completely objective a little bit of applied thought says they can't possibly win it.
They handed it back at premiums which were struck a number of years ago and Dft are likely looking for an increase where First seem to be angling for a decrease ! (based on handing back).

I quite like SWT so I'll go with Stagecoach.
 

Monty

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Including taking the option to walk away from the last years of their franchise to avoid paying millions back to us the taxpaying travellers .

So anyone but First please

:roll: Seriously this again? First have not at any point 'walked away' or 'handed the keys back' from their franchise commitments, they have and will see out the original length of their franchise to the end. They have simply decided not to take up a option of an extension of three years offered by the DfT. :|
 

richw

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They handed it back at premiums which were struck a number of years ago and Dft are likely looking for an increase where First seem to be angling for a decrease ! (based on handing back).

Again they have not handed nothing back, their contract was for 7 years, with an option for an extra 3 years without negotiation if both sides met their obligations. DfT failed to meet their obligations of electrification and IEP by 2013, so therefore First have exercised that rate as they would not otherwise be getting the infrastructure they were paying for.

Would you pay car finance for the cost of a brand new rolls royce, but accept a 30 year old car instead of the Rolls Royce? Its the same thing, the last 3 years were based on IEP, yet they will still be stuck with the 30 year old hsts.
 

150001

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I'd like to see FGW stay but it would be good if Stagecoach got it; SWT look after the trains excellently and a 150 refurb like the 455s wouldn't go a miss. Stagecoach are pretty good and this would be a good chance for them to integrate operations.
 

Zoe

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The franchise was for 10 years with the full term running until 2016. The subsidy/premium profile was agreed back in 2005 when the franchise was let and was for £1.1 billion over the 10 years. The last 3 years were subject to a continuation review allowing the franchise to end 3 years early. This is not handing the franchise back, the option to not go the full term was always available. Both the DfT and First knew that when the franchise was let.
Great Western franchise consultation said:
The current franchise was awarded to FirstGroup on 12 December 2005 and began operations on 1 April 2006. The franchise term was for 10 years to 31 March 2016, with the final three years subject to a continuation review, allowing the franchise the possibility of an earlier end date.

FirstGroup announced to its shareholders its intention not to continue until March 2016 but to terminate the franchise on 31 March 2013. (The contractual decision on termination date was confirmed at the conclusion of the continuation review in December 2011). However, discussions have taken place that would extend the franchise by one rail period to cover one of the major blockades that is required to implement the major upgrade works in and around Reading station. This blockade will take place during Easter week in 2013. If confirmed, the franchise will end on 28 April 2013.
 
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BestWestern

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I'd like to see FGW stay but it would be good if Stagecoach got it; SWT look after the trains excellently and a 150 refurb like the 455s wouldn't go a miss. Stagecoach are pretty good and this would be a good chance for them to integrate operations.

I agree. While I would perfectly happy if First continued with the franchise, I have a feeling Suiter may clinch it. I'm thinking perhaps they might submit some interesting options relating to use of existing SWT facilities to cut depot overheads on the 'West' operation. Westbury could feasibly be closed and moved to a combined/joint WoE depot at Salisbury, and there would be obvious savings at Fratton, where FGW currently pay SWT a substantial sum for use of certain facilities as well as leasing other bits of their own. Weymouth, which has a tiny allocation of about 6 Guards and no Drivers, could be gotten rid of altogether, perhaps even using SWT staff on a contracted basis to operate the first/last services in and out (FGW currently do the same with Arriva Drivers between Cardiff and Bristol). Of course, that only covers a small part of the whole GW operation, but it's an option which gives S'coach an edge in one respect.

In reality of course, who knows what might happen!
 

fgwrich

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Again they have not handed nothing back, their contract was for 7 years, with an option for an extra 3 years without negotiation if both sides met their obligations. DfT failed to meet their obligations of electrification and IEP by 2013, so therefore First have exercised that rate as they would not otherwise be getting the infrastructure they were paying for.

Would you pay car finance for the cost of a brand new rolls royce, but accept a 30 year old car instead of the Rolls Royce? Its the same thing, the last 3 years were based on IEP, yet they will still be stuck with the 30 year old hsts.

The other irony of this clause is also in the GWML modernisation - Had First continued to run the franchise, they would have been paying millions of back to the DfT for the infrastructure they were paying for but weren’t getting, along with the long promised IEP, but in return would then be getting compensated back by the DfT for the GWML Modernisation - Crossrail, Reading, Electrification, Re-signalling etc... So either way, it was decided by mutual agreement by both First Group and the DfT to exercise this clause, and set the next GWML franchise up to deal with the GWML program, rather than lumping it onto the tail end of the current and starting the next one in the middle of modernisation. So all in all, a rather clever move by First Group and the DfT (Can that be said - Clever in the same sentence as DfT?!!!), bearing in mind that clause was actually installed by the DfT after an early franchise c*ck up.

As for who will run the next GW Franchise - I reckon that it's going to be a close one between Dean Finches National Express and First Group - After they way they've be treating me, I’m almost slightly reluctant to say that, but looking at the other bidders - Yep, First Great Western please!
 

Zoe

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Zoe

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That was the initial expiry date, a continuety review was to be held before this date. If certain conditions were met and the franchisee elected to continue then the franchise would go the full term to the expiry date defined as 31 March 2016.
 
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richw

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That was the initial expiry date, a continuety review was to be held before this date. If certain conditions were met and the franchisee elected to continue then the franchise would go the full term to the expiry date defined as 31 March 2016.

The conditions were met, but the franchisee opted to not elect to continue.
 

HH

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The conditions were met, but the franchisee opted to not elect to continue.

Which they were fully entitled to do. IMO DfT cocked up the contract. They don't call them DafT for nothing you know...
 

ainsworth74

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Which they were fully entitled to do. IMO DfT cocked up the contract. They don't call them DafT for nothing you know...

I agree with that. I wonder if the DfT put the clause into the contract and simply didn't consider that the franchisee would use it themselves to end the contract early.
 

BestWestern

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I heard several people now mentioning that DB had pulled out of the GW bid. Judging by the lack of any connected comment here, I presume that's untrue?
 

hector673

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What hasn't been mentioned, is that 'First' own several HST sets.
So if they don't win the bid what will happen to these sets and how will the new operator cope without the HST's?
Will it be a case of First being ordered to sell them by the DFT or will they transfer them to the West Coast!
The new IEP sets won't be availabe for several years, so I can't see what the other bidders will do without the HST's apart from run less trains!
 

richw

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First will effectly act as a ROSCO with those HSTs and hire them out accordingly, to the best offer i'd imagine.
 

neilm

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Since connex didnt win the west coast I bet they will win the greater western.
 

aspierail

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I don't mind if Stagecoach got it however i would much prefer First to win it simply because i used to work for First Great Western and had enjoyed working for them.
 

RPI

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I heard several people now mentioning that DB had pulled out of the GW bid. Judging by the lack of any connected comment here, I presume that's untrue?

Also heard from the same kind of sources that NX had also pulled out-however these rumours come from the loud mouths in the mess rooms who also still claim that Virgin are favourites to win the GW franchis! durrrrrrrrrrrr
 

387star

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I have a feeling Stagecoach will win it not sure why!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Chiltern?



Personally I think First have to win it. The first five+ years of the new GW franchise are going to a nightmare as from about 2014 onwards you're going to have wires going up, remodelling of stations/track and the introduction of IEP all within a short space of time. Personally I think handing the franchise to a new company with a new top management would not be a good idea as they'd still be learning how to run the railway when everything's fine let alone running it when chaos reigns. Whist First would already have a handle on the day to day running meaning they can focus more in delivering the various infrastructure and rolling stock programs.

All gov care about is the highest bidder which looks remotely deliverable
 

34Short

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Surely DB cannot win this, due to the XC Franchise? They'd hold the majority of ways into the South West.
 

bignosemac

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Noooooo! Not this again.

[tongue in cheek]
Stagecoach should be barred because otherwise they will have routes to the west sown up.

National Express should be barred because they run a competing coach service from destinations in the Greater Western area.

DB/Arriva should be barred for the aforementioned reason.

And First Group should be barred because they already have enough franchises.
[/tongue in cheek]
 

Kali

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Surely DB cannot win this, due to the XC Franchise? They'd hold the majority of ways into the South West.

At the risk of repeating the obvious: if Stagecoach win it - I'm in two minds about whether I want them to or whether I think they have a chance - they'd run both ways to London from down here, and I've seen no suggestions that that would be an issue. Might result in some nice service innovations if they were allowed.

I'd rather sit in a 159 than drive to Taunton to get in the eggboxes they've made of HSTs now ( add that on the journey time and it's pointless anyway ), but other than that FGW are not a bad way to get to London. If anyone can remember what that trip was like in the late 80s/early 90s, they might appreciate the extra seats a bit more...

I refuse to get on a Pacer though, ugh. If I'm going to have to get on a bus, I'll get on the one that charges me for a bus trip.
 

The Ham

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No keep Connex/Veolia far away from the Great Western I would rather National Express

I agree as at least NX are used to carrying UK passengers, Veolia is mostly used to dealing in rubish and sewers in the UK!

(OK and fresh water and a few other things, but that less humorous)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I refuse to get on a Pacer though, ugh. If I'm going to have to get on a bus, I'll get on the one that charges me for a bus trip.

Although often bus fare around here is more than a train fare, even though they are run by the same company!
 

387star

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Does anybody know if the 150/1s will get a major refurbishment like the 150/2 on the new franchise?

Could there be a surprise announcement of new trains to replace 158s etc because surely the TOC can bid for new trains rather than keeping current stock
 

DavidBrown

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Does anybody know if the 150/1s will get a major refurbishment like the 150/2 on the new franchise?

Could there be a surprise announcement of new trains to replace 158s etc because surely the TOC can bid for new trains rather than keeping current stock

Chances are that the electrification will free up the newer DMU's for the south-west, so once clearances are sorted out, it's looking likely that Class 165/166's will operate from Bristol and Exeter as everywhere else will be under the wires. Whilst some 150's will need to be kept for the tight branches like Looe and Newquay, the rest will probably replace pacers elsewhere.
 
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