Dear Colleagues,


As you may be aware the DfT have drastically altered their rail franchising programme, as a result of the collapse of the West Coast Main Line contract tendering process.

Only three franchises will now be re-let before the next general election.

This means that incumbent operators in 8 franchises have been granted significant extensions beyond the next general election in May 2015.

I have attached the revised timetable for your information. This timetable does not include the two “paused” franchises (Essex Thameside and Thameslink) for which bidding will be restarted later this year.

In addition, the government have announced that the East Coast Mainline is being sold back to private operators with the current position of public-ownership through Directly Operated Railways being ruled out. The Department for Transport “expects” this process to be completed by February 2015. RMT will be campaigning to push this process beyond the next general election.

RMT will continue to campaign for re-nationalisation of the entire railway.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary