2006-03-31 10:53:34 UTC
Department for Transport (National)
CENTRAL TRAINS FRANCHISE EXTENDED TO AUTUMN 2007
The Department for Transport today confirmed that Central Trains'
franchise will be extended from 01 April 2006 to 11 November 2007.
New terms have been introduced to encourage further improvements in
performance. The current timetable and level of services will be
The extension helps facilitate the re-mapping of franchises in the
Midlands, which was announced by DfT in October 2005. Three new
franchises - East Midlands, West Midlands and Cross Country - will
replace the current four franchises operated by Central Trains,
Silverlink, Virgin Cross Country and Midland Mainline.
Remapping existing franchises will facilitate closer working between
track and train to improve efficiency and performance. The extension of
the contract will help to align the end dates of the four existing
Rail Minister Derek Twigg said:
"This agreement means that existing services will continue until
November 2007, with an emphasis on building on recent performance
"It means that we can continue with our plans for the new franchises,
which will deliver better services for passengers."
Discussions are taking place with other franchisees to enable the
transition to the new franchises. DfT is also continuing work on the
detailed specification for the new franchises, which will be consulted
upon in due course. We expect to announce the franchise awards in
Notes to editors
1. Central Trains is owned by the National Express Group. It provides
local services through the East and West Midlands and long distance
services from the Midlands to South Wales, the North West, East Anglia
and the East Coast.
2. The original seven year Central Trains franchise was awarded in
3. The new Franchise Agreement will be placed on the public register at
a future date
4. For further information please contact the Department for Transport
press office on 020 7944 3108 or visit http://www.dft.gov.uk.
Press Enquires: 020 7944 3108
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk