Conventional rail

The railway network is important to future prosperity, competitiveness and in keeping the North East connected.

The East Coast Mainline (ECML) is of key strategic economic importance; sustaining connections between the North East, London, Scotland and a range of business and leisure destinations served directly or through connections on to other services.

Having previously maintained a strong dialogue with ECML franchise bidders, ANEC is continuing to do so with Virgin/Stagecoach who have now begun running the service.

ANEC is also in dialogue with shortlisted bidders for the new Northern Rail and TransPennine franchises.

The Department for Transport issued invitations to tender for both franchises, as part of efforts to transform rail travel in the north, in February 2015. Abellio Northern, Arriva Rail North, Govia Northern, First TransPennine Express, Keolis Go-Ahead, Stagecoach TransPennine Express Trains were shortlisted in August 2014.

ANEC has welcomed the Rail Executive’s stated objective, outlined in its prospectus, to deliver a ‘transformation in the way the railway serves its markets and communities in the north of England’ and that the new Northern franchise presents ‘an opportunity to rejuvenate this important part of Britain’s railway’.

In this context, ANEC is committed to helping best position the North East to benefit from investment decisions. The Northern Rail franchise, in providing local and intra-regional connectivity throughout the North East and wider North, connecting people to employment, education, healthcare and leisure opportunities, is an important opportunity.

In addition to on-going discussions with Rail North, ANEC is also convening around the North East Business Unit, as part of its strategy for best positioning the North East to best realise its rail investment aspirations, priorities and objectives - set out in its North East Rail Statement.

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