Thursday, 30 July 2009
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Reports in the media are detailing some of the claims being made by the unions as cause for the proposed strike action this week.
Among a variety of demands the ASLEF union for example want a minimum pay increase of 2.5%, a four day working week for all its members and a 4% increase in the number of train drivers employed by NXEA. During two days of talks the unions have also apparently refused to discuss any productivity improvements to fund the pay increase.
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
NXEA are advising that it is almost certain that the strike by Aslef and RMT members will go ahead this Thursday and Friday and that almost no services will run.
There may be a skeleton service of three trains up and three back between Norwich and London and an hourly service between Colchester and London. Details will appear on the NXEA website.
The advice is however, to stay at home if at all possible.
National Express (NX) is understood to have asked the Takeover Panel to impose a 'Put Up or Shut Up' deadline on the takeover approach from CVC, the private equity group and the Cosmen family from Spain. (see comment dated 24th July)
The order would force the prospective bidders into making a firm offer within four weeks or walking away. NX is anxious to end uncertainty and also wants to press on with a rights issue if it is not taken over.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
There is speculation that Stagecoach is joining the the list of potential suitors for National Express. According to press reports Stagecoach has appointed Deutsche Bank to draw up plans for an all-share takeover offer. Stagecoach currently runs the South West Trains franchise and has an interest in the Virgin West Coast route. Any takeover would make it a considerable force in the UK railway industry and as such, subject to monopoly investigation.
Saturday, 25 July 2009
Despite ongoing talks between NXEA and the ASLEF and RMT unions, strike action is still planned for 30th July, 6th, 13th and 20th August respectively. Each strike is planned to last 48 hours.
It is understood that NXEA have offered a salary increase above the rate of inflation.
In the event of strike action being called it is unlikely that any trains will run on these days.
Friday, 24 July 2009
Following the announcement that an unnamed suitor has made a takeover approach for National Express, a major shareholder has joined with a private equity firm to formulate a possible takeover bid.
The Cosmen family from Spain, which owns 18.5% stake in National Express has teamed up with CVC Partners. CVC confirmed the consortium has made an initial proposal "to acquire for cash" all shares in National Express.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
National Express (NX) has received a fresh takeover approach from an unnamed suitor. The news comes the day after rival FirstGroup said that it had scrapped plans to make a takeover bid for NX. FirstGroup had said that it would now be inappropriate to consider a formal takeover of NX, because of uncertainties surrounding the business. This follows the latter's decision to cease funding it's East Coast franchise and the possible implications of this move on it's East Anglian and C2C franchises.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Saturday, 18 July 2009
A project to upgrade the line between Felixstowe and Nuneaton has received £8m of European Funding. This upgrade will enable more freight trains from Harwich and Felixstowe to go straight through to the Midlands rather than go via London, thereby freeing up valuable space on the Great Eastern mainline.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
NXEA staff are to be balloted for industrial action in a row over pay and working conditions.
The RMT union said its members will be asked whether they want to launch a campaign of strikes after accusing NXEA of failing to make any significant offer on pay.
Any strike action is likely to find little sympathy with passengers.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
In a widely expected move, the government has stripped National Express of its East Coast franchise. As part of the franchising agreement the government has stated that the NXEA and C2C franchises are also at risk and could be taken back to be run by the DfT.
Richard Bowker has resigned as Head of National Express. Ironically, as Head of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) Bowker awarded the NXEA franchise to National Express.