Posted by TomIrvin on

The East Midlands franchise prospectus has been published and is available to view at:


The main relevent points are:

The franchise is to commence on 22nd July 2018, hence this will be when the Barton branch service is remapped from Northern to East Midlands. The franchise is to be between 7 and 15 years in length

There are to be fleet improvements, including to performance, capacity and reliability. The fleet is to be modified to comply with the PRM-TSI regulations, which is a legal requirement.

Partnership working between the train operator and local community is to be encouraged. Station adoption is to be promoted.

Public consulation starts in December 2016.

Posted by TomIrvin on

Stagecoach, Arriva and a collaboration of First and Trenitalia have qualified to bid for the franchise.

Posted by HumberTransport on

The associated press release interestingly says "In particular, ministers want to improve the quality, frequency and timings of journeys on the east of the franchise network and to seek to develop new services and connections." - whether that means much for the Barton line remains to be seen.

What does concern me though is that the local/regional political leadership for the franchise is being provided by 'East Midlands Councils', and as we are not in the East Midlands, neither North nor North East Lincolnshire Councils are members. There is a risk the Barton line gets forgotten as East Midlands Councils are understandably not going to be making the case for an out of area service. Meanwhile North and North East Lincolnshire Councils are full members of Rail North and Transport for the North.

The current franchising schedule has the Invitiation To Tender as being due in May.

Posted by Anthony Berridge on

There would have been better chances of "develop[ing] new services and connections (on the east of the network?)" if the Brigg line was to be included in the EM franchise.

At the Railfuture AGM in Lincoln last Saturday it was suggested (out of the meeting) by members of the embrionic North Notts and Lincs CRP that the BCCRP be brought out of the Rail North partnership and into the North Lincolnshire group of the NN&LCRP.

Personally I am not yet convinced whether the Barton line would be better or worse off under the EM franchise.  There are pros and cons, but had the Brigg line been included then there would have been a stronger case for an EM staffing point and mini servicing depot at Cleethorpes.  We must press for NELC and NLC to be represented on the railway committee of the East Midlands Councils consortium.


Posted by HumberTransport on

I wonder if the Invitation to Tender could be further delayed by the general election? There is currently purdah for the local elections, then general election purdah will start around the time local election purdah ends. Unless there is a couple of days gap after the local elections to publish it then mid-June would be the next opportunity, and probably later if a different ministerial team is appointed ...

Posted by Anthony Berridge on

I shouldn't be surprised; we'll have to keep our ears to the ground.  Meanwhile the Chairman and I have emailed our respective unitary authorities (NECL & NCL) suggesting they seek representation on East Midlands Councils's transport committee.