Issue 15/2012

4th May 2012

In this issue:

Industry developments this week

Renfe, the Spanish company, has been dropped as a bidder for the Great Western franchise, a Wiltshire local paper claims. FirstGroup, Stagecoach, National Express and Deutsche Bahn are still in the running.

South West Trains has taken charge of railway operations across theWessex region in the first deep alliance merging train operator and Network Rail teams. Transport Briefing

Grand Central has applied to run an extra daily service between London and Bradford from December 2012. Telegraph and Argus

New rail services

Work will begin on extending the Midland Metro throughBirmingham city centre in 2013. BBC News More details are provided by Transport Briefing

Plans to reroute part of the London Underground Metropolitan line to Watford Junction have gone out to tender after more than a decade of development. Transport Briefing

Other stories from the past three weeks

London Underground has launched an investigation after three trains on the Bakerloo line were damaged by a protruding area of tunnel lining. Transport Briefing

Spain’s massive investment in high speed rail needs to be stopped to arrest the country’s slide into debt, an economic experts has said. The Guardian

Holding group sharecheck


Stagecoach has said profits over the coming year will at least hold steady despite a slight slowdown in UK sales growth. Press Association

Shares in FirstGroup sank 14 per cent in late March after a warning by the transport company that margins in its UK bus business would fall by more than a third this year. Financial Times

  • The group has sought to reassure investors after issuing the profit warning, which it said relatedto an “unacceptable” performance from its 8,000-vehicle UK bus business. Transport Briefing

National Express shares soared in late February after it posted strong 2011 results, up 12% to £180m, despite a greatly reduced rail operation. The group moved from reporting losses to record profits in two years. Financial Times

Go-Ahead started making contributions to the Treasury’s funds from April after reporting strong growth in its rail division. Daily Telegraph

  • Shares in the group rose by almost 5 per cent in late December after it raised full-year operating profit forecasts on the back of strong passenger growth at its rail franchises.


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