Government announces new rail franchise:

InterCity West Coast and HS2

Published  4th November 2016

In a written statement to parliament Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP announced the competition for a new Intercity West Coast Partnership (ICWC) franchise to help shape development of HS2.

This new proposition is seeking to attract a world class partner to develop and enhance the existing InterCity West Coast (ICWC) operation and help shape the development of HS2 and operate its first services in 2026.

We are embarking on a new chapter in the modernisation of our railways. A strong private sector partner is vital now to work with government and as an advocate for passengers on the West Coast, to ensure excellent passenger services in the run up to HS2 introduction, and a smooth transition to the next generation of rail franchising as HS2 becomes the new backbone of Britain’s railways.

In the statement the MP said ‘There are a number of key interfaces between the delivery of HS2 and the ICWC rail franchise and I believe there are significant benefits in bringing the 2 projects closer together to ensure the best outcomes for passengers both before and after the start of the HS2 services’


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