Tuesday, 31 March 2009

National Express Franchise Problems

Speculation continues that National Express are struggling with their rail franchises.   The Daily Telegraph today says that the Department for Transport is looking for the help of troubleshooters if it is forced to step in as an "operator of last resort".  Mike Mitchell, the DfT's head of rail, has told MPs that National Express is one of five operators on the government's "red light list".

The East Coat franchise is seen as particularly vulnerable but several industry insiders have indicated that NXEA is also facing difficulties as a result of the white collar recession which has hit commuter traffic into Liverpool Street.

The rules say that if National Express has to hand back one of its franchises it will have to hand them all back.  So if NXEC fails, so will NXEA and C2C.

1 comment:

  1. As NXEC, NXEA (legal name: London Eastern Railway - a much better name) and c2c are separate legal entities then wouldn't it be possible for National Express to 'sell off' their poorer performing franchises to another entity in order to avoid losing them all?

    Is this a new rule? I seem to recall Connex lost one of their franchises (SE?) first before losing the other (SC?). Then again I wasn't in London back then so I'm not 100% sure.

    Also remember there's only one more day left to sign the NXEC petition