Posted 17th January 2017 | 1 Comment

Mitsui to own 40% of Greater Anglia franchise

ABELLIO is selling a 40 per cent stake in its Greater Anglia franchise to Mitsui, reinforcing the Japanese presence in the British rail sector.

The Dutch group, which is the international arm of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, based in Utrecht, said the deal met a 'long-standing objective' to run GA as a 60:40 joint venture.

The RMT union is bitterly critical, saying the deal 'made a mockery' of the franchising process.

Abellio consolidated its position in East Anglia last year, when it began a nine year franchise in October having previously run two short contracts, the first of which began in 2012.

Abellio is also working with Mitsui on a joint bid for the West Midlands franchise with the East Japan Railway Company in a two-horse race with the incumbent Govia. A Department for Transport announcement about West Midlands is due in June, ahead of a planned October launch.

Managing director for Abellio UK Dominic Booth said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement with Mitsui, fulfilling our long standing objective of running the franchise as a 60:40 joint venture. With the introduction of Mitsui’s knowledge and experience, we look forward to delivering significant improvements for Greater Anglia’s customers, including through the introduction of a brand new fleet.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash responded: "Following on from National Express sale of the c2c franchise to Trenitalia, this latest sell off by Abellio of a chunk of the Greater Anglia franchise to Mitsui shows that the Britain's rail network is up constantly for grabs making a mockery of the expensive DfT franchising process.

“The checks and balances for both passengers and the taxpayer, which the DfT claims are enshrined in its multi-million pound franchising programme, are clearly lacking when the winning bidder can simply walk away, share out its responsibilities and choose its replacement whenever it sees fit."

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Benfleet, Essex

    That still does mean brand new Greater Anglia rolling stocks are planned to be manufactured and to be delivered to East Anglia in 2019 including 111 Bombardier Aventra Electric Multiple Unit vehicles and 58 Stadler Flirt vehicles that are both Electric Multiple Unit and Bi-Mode (EDMU).
    [Yes. Who implied anything else?--Editor]