The Race for the Trough Expands as SNCF Join HS2 Franchise Bidders

Whilst it may seem rather early for bidders to be announced for the franchise to run HS2 as it’s not meant to open until 2026, and if it goes ahead 2028/9 would be more likely, the list is now out.

George Osborne clearly upset the French have bid as he and his family had put so much work into trying to get Chinese & Japanese interest in HS2

George Osborne clearly upset the French have bid as he and his family had put so much work into trying to get Chinese & Japanese interest in HS2

The reason franchise bids are coming in so early is that Government have decided to have one operator for both the West Coast Mainline and HS2. This is exactly what happened with HS1 and Southeastern, a move that led to a reduction and slowing of ‘classic’ rail services in Kent to try and force people onto the more expensive HS1.

Yesterday, it was announced that French state owner operator SNCF, who own 70% of Keolis which in turn owns 33% of Govia who run everyones favourite franchise; Southern Rail, will be joining the bidding process along with Italian state operator Trenitalia.

SNCF are to come in with a joint bid with Virgin & Stagecoach on a 30/20/50 split, whilst Trenitalia will team up on their bid with First Group. This should be of no surprise to anyone really, as foreign state owner operators are involved in around three quarters of the current UK rail franchises, but The London Evening Standard  said there was ‘Fury’ at the news – possibly because of all the work George Osborne & family had put so much work into trying to get Chinese & Japanese bids, whilst RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;

The HS2 Industry leaders Cartel

“This is yet another land grab on Britain’s railways by the French state with SNCF and Richard Branson both realising that this new franchise will be a one way ticket to the bank for whoever comes out on top in this latest UK rail lottery.”

“The integrated HS2/West Coast operation has been bought and paid for by the British people and should be run by the British state in the public interest and not by some consortium of speculators looking to make a killing at the taxpayers expense.”

Maybe the TSSA & ASLEF rail unions who heavily support HS2 and have effectively hamstrung Jeremy Corbyn from expressing dissent about HS2 should note this. After all, this was always on the cards, and the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group, which consists almost exclusively of foreign firms have been saying that HS2 should be considered as a “potentially lucrative global export”

The state owned rail operators currently involved in running UK franchises are:

Abellio (part of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the Dutch national operator): Greater Anglia, Scotrail and Merseyrail.
(Deutsche Bahn, German state operator): Chiltern, Grand Central, Cross Country, Northern, London Overground, Arriva Trains Wales, Tyne and Wear Metro.
Keolis (SNCF, French state operator): Nottingham Express Transit, Docklands Light Railway, Southeastern, London Midland and Govia Thameslink Railway.
Trenitalia (Italian state operator): C2C.
MTR (Hong Kong, majority-owned by government): Crossrail and South Western (from August).

7 comments to “The Race for the Trough Expands as SNCF Join HS2 Franchise Bidders”
  1. It’s worth reminding ourselves that Grayling will not answer questions regarding the overall cost of HS2 rumoured to be now approaching £200bn. How do they decide about bids, or can contractors just spend what they like?
    We are entitled to know how much, and at a time of cuts just where is the money coming from, or are they stopping much necessary expenditure elsewhere?
    Keep pressing your MP.

  2. May Corbyn Farron not competent in strategic decision making. Time to realise UK needs united capable people to replace lightweights

    Toshiba mothballs power plant. UK does not produce viable high speed rail. UK has lost its way with Cameron May and Corbyn. Poor wages insufficient public service capacity. Why vote for failing people.
    Time for UK to scale to its capacities. Change some laws, priorities and projects including HS2. Conservatives and Labour and Liberals failed with HS2.

  3. Are MP candidates able to declare objection to HS2 in their standing eg Conservative against HS2 Labour against HS2.. Liberal against HS2 and for …. please

    Theresa May remains ‘absolutely committed’ to HS2 rail link
    The Guardian-3 hours ago
    In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, May said: “We remain absolutely committed to HS2. It is a very important infrastructure project for the …
    May promises to deliver HS2 to Yorkshire
    Yorkshire Post-6 hours ago
    View all

    What is HS2 and how much will it cost?
    The Guardian-27 Apr 2017
    After more than three years of debate in parliament, the HS2 bill gained royal assent on 23 February. Construction of the first phase can now …
    HS2 came close to kicking CH2M off controversial contract over … Apr 2017
    View all

    Theresa May commits to delivering HS2 rail link
    AOL UK-2 hours ago
    The Prime Minister was reportedly coming under pressure from Tory MPs in the south to cancel HS2, which the Government projects will cost …

  4. Good report today demonstrates how politicians/civil servants FAIL on rigour and scrutiny of assessing outcomes.

    Main parties do not disown HS2s failures and the gross impacts on you for little local benefits across Counties.
    Can you put aside the confused and chaotic and vote to hold these main old parties to account with others. Make your vote count for changes from the current nudge and pretend promisers please. Vote for sense on your issues please.

  5. Statements by Conservatives exhibit Chaos and Misleading the public. So more reason to avoid voting against your most pressing needs. Political parties offering no relief only more agony.

  6. Another environmental concern shared by Derbyshire folk is the HS2 route and the effect it will have on the communities it will pass through. Mrs May said: “I recognise the concerns local communities will have when a major infrastructure project is proposed for their local area but I think if we look at the project overall it is important in terms of capacity for the mainline and it is important that we invest in infrastructure for the future of our economy. “It’s only by putting investment in infrastructure and by supporting economies around the country that we are going to be able to support the stronger economy that we need for the future.”

    Read more at:

Comments are closed.

2010-2023 © STOP HS2 – The national campaign against High Speed Rail 2