Case Study: Midlands Mainline's Franchise
Extension: £28 Million Investment Package
The Midland Mainline (MML) franchise was awarded
on a seven-year basis in 1996, taking it to 2003. Its terms included
an extension to 2006 if National Express invested in new trains
and thus improved the service frequency for passengers.
Whereas the requirement was for National Express
to order 24 vehicles (12 x 2-car trains), we have actually ordered
44 vehicles (10 x 3-cars and 7 x 2-cars) in order to develop demand
and fulfil the potential of the route.
The improvements enable MML to:
Grow the number of passengers journeys
by 50 per cent in just four years;
Double basic train frequencies;
Introduce regular-interval services
to all stations on the St Pancras-Sheffield line;
Introduce through trains from London
to Burton on Trent, Barnsley and Matlock.
At the same time, on-train passenger service
was improved, with benefits to passengers in standard class, first
class, and the new Premier Class.
All this entailed a substantial increase in
operational staff numbers, up by 33 per cent to date.
By 2000, it was clear that further development
would be needed before expiry in 2006, and this formed the basis
for the further extension announced by the SRA in August 2000.
The key elements of the new extension package
£60 million investment in infrastructure
£135 million investment in new
Acceleration of services to Sheffield
and the East Midlands, with 10" benefit to Sheffield;
£17 million investment in a
new East Midlands Parkway Station
£22 million investment at stations
£4 million investment in customer
service and training
Sheffield services extended hourly
to Leeds and three additional peak services.
To enable National Express to fund this programme,
the franchise premium payments which would originally have been
paid to the Treasury will now be re-invested by Midland Mainline
into the service.