Bids Begin for ECML

The East Coast Main Line (ECML) in the United Kingdom is being refranchised. This article discusses the reasons that the current franchise agreement is being dissolved, which railroad companies may be bidding for the line and whether the current franchising system is working well. Although the existing franchise contract was established in 2005 and was intended to last for 10 years, the Department of Transport is dissolving the current franchise contract and opening the line up for bids again. This move is due in part to lower than expected revenue figures by the current operator, Great North Eastern Railway (GNER). This article speculates that GNER overbid for the line and is in financial trouble as a result. Although other companies are expressing interest in the ECML, there is a chance that GNER may be bidding again. The author suggests that since privatization is an expensive way to run a railway, the government should be more realistic about costs. The answer to the current franchising system may lie in the development of fewer, bigger franchises.


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  • Accession Number: 01046551
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 1 2007 9:27PM