Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


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 are:

    —  £60 million investment in infrastructure

    —  £135 million investment in new rolling stock

    —  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.

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