1. ITV Report

Four companies shortlisted for Wales and borders rail franchise

Arriva Trains Wales is one of the four shortlisted. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Four bidders have been shortlisted for rail services on the new Wales and Borders franchise, including the operator which has run it for the past decade.

Arriva Trains Wales has been named as one of the four pre-qualified preferred bidders, along with Abellio Rail Cymru, KeolisAmey and MTR Corporation.

The Welsh Government said it was aiming to deliver a new, not-for-profit rail model, similar to the one run by Transport for London.

The new Wales and Borders service from 2018 and the next phase of the Metro are part of an ambitious and creative not-for-profit model that we are building for Welsh rail.

We now have four highly skilled, experienced companies entering the next, competitive phase and I am keen to hear more from them about what they can offer Wales and how they can deliver on our plans for integrated public transport.

Over the next 10 years I envisage significant strides in the delivery of our public transport network including the electrification of the Swansea, Valleys and North Wales lines, a South and North Wales Metro and widespread structural improvements that are already in the pipeline.

The priorities for the next franchise will include updated rolling stock, reduced journey times and the use of modern technology and approaches to deliver an improved service for passengers across Wales.

– Ken Skates AM, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary

The final contract will be awarded in early 2018.

All these bids will mean that the foreign-owned railways will be making profit out of Welsh services whilst the Welsh public sector is not even being allowed to bid - that is a ludicrous situation that we should be uniting to fight.

– Mick Cash, leader RMT union