Serco Group plc (Serco), the international service company, today provides an update on its UK rail operations.
Over the last twenty years Serco has built substantial interests and expertise in rail operations both in the UK and internationally. In the UK we are the operators of the Docklands Light Railway, and we also run both Merseyrail and Northern Rail with our joint venture partner Abellio. In addition, we have recently been selected by Transport Scotland to manage the new 15-year franchise for the Caledonian Sleeper service. Overseas, we operate the Dubai Metro and Great Southern Rail in Australia.
In March 2014, a 22-month interim franchise agreement was signed by Serco and Abellio to continue operating the Northern Rail service on behalf of the UK Department for Transport until February 2016. The tender process for the next Northern Rail franchise period, which will run from February 2016, has recently started, and, given the individual strengths of each company's rail credentials, Serco and Abellio have agreed that they will pursue separate paths in respect of the new Northern Rail franchise. The Merseyrail joint venture, which runs until 2028, is unaffected by this decision.
Having recently been selected to operate the Caledonian Sleeper service, Serco continues to develop its UK rail business and is currently evaluating options for a number of franchises, including Northern Rail itself and TransPennine Express, the tender process for which is running on a similar timetable to Northern Rail. At the same time Serco is also in the process of rebidding its Docklands Light Railway contract, as well as pursuing several other rail and transportation opportunities around the world.
Rupert Soames, Serco Group Chief Executive Officer, said: "Serco has established a strong track record of providing high quality and efficient rail services around the world. We evaluate each opportunity on individual merit, and focus on those where we can have a transformational impact. This approach will benefit both our customers and the company alike."