MTR Corporation (UK) will join First Group in a joint venture to bid for the South Western franchise following the assent of the Department for Transport. MTR will take a 30% stake in the joint venture.
Announcing the arrangement, First Rail Managing Director Steve Montgomery said: “We have extensive expertise of running commuter, inter-urban, regional and long distance services – such as those that make up the South Western franchise – and a strong track record in delivering passenger growth. MTR runs successful suburban and commuter railways; its knowledge from running London Overground and TfL Rail on behalf of Transport for London will add further depth and understanding to an important component of this franchise.”
He said that together the two companies will develop an ‘innovative and value for money proposal’ for the franchise.
First was shortlisted along with Stagecoach group in February to bid for the franchise.
- For more on this, read RAIL 804, published on July 6.