National Express has walked away from operating a German franchise which could have been worth £1 billion to the Group, saying that there was a risk of 'prohibitive additional cost'. The stumbling block is the introduction of new trains, which were a core element of the deal. The delays caused by a legal challenge from DB mean that these trains can no longer be delivered by December 2018, when the contract would have begun.
A railway industry organisation created in the early years of privatisation and which has played a key role for more than 20 years has disappeared. The Association of Train Operating Companies was set up in June 1995, several months before the first franchises were awarded, but it has now been merged with the much newer Rail Delivery Group. The reform follows feedback from stakeholders, members and staff. The RDG has also emphasied the changeover by launching a new logo.
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