Posted: Mon 30th Oct 2017

Updated: Mon 30th Oct

Arriva withdraws bid to operate Wales and Borders franchise for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 30th, 2017

Train services across Wales will no longer be operated by Arriva from autumn 2018 after the company announced they intend to withdraw from the bidding process for the next Wales and Borders rail franchise.

Arriva Rail Wales was one of four rail providers shortlisted as the preferred bidders for services on the new Wales and Borders franchise and Metro.

Abellio Rail Cymru, KeolisAmey and MTR Corporation (Cymru) Ltd were unveiled by Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates last October as the other three providers selected to progress to the next stage in the procurement process to operate rail services in Wales and the Borders from October 2018 as well take forward key aspects of the next stage of Metro.

However Arriva Trains Wales, the existing franchise holder for the Wales & Borders franchise, announced this afternoon it was to withdraw from the bidding process.

A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said this afternoon: “Arriva Rail Wales have notified Transport for Wales that they intend to withdraw from the bidding process for the next Wales and Borders rail franchise.

“It is not uncommon for bidders for major projects to withdraw during the tender process and Arriva have been clear they have done this for their own commercial reasons.

“The procurement process is a tough and demanding one and we recognise Arriva’s extensive work to date.

“We would like to thank the company for their support and positive attitude since the procurement started and we will continue to work closely with the company to ensure that existing staff and customers are central to our transition planning over the next 12 months.

“With final tenders due later this year, we have three companies with world-class credentials each putting their own, distinct cases for how they will deliver they ambitious objectives we set, with the goal of delivering a step chance in rail services for passengers across Wales and the Borders.”

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas tweeted his thoughts on the announcement earlier this afternoon:

Details of the three companies still in the running can be found below:

Abellio Rail Cymru

Abellio operates public transport services in Europe, with both bus and rail networks.

The company is the international arm of the Dutch national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen.

It won its first UK contract, Merseyrail, in 2003 – since then, the company has grown to become a major operator in the UK, adding Abellio Greater Anglia and ScotRail to its portfolio. Abellio London & Surrey operates bus services in Central, South and West London and across North Surrey


Keolis operate Docklands Light Railway and the urban light rail network in Nottingham.

The company has been in the UK since 1996 and employ 13,000 people across it’s franchises
Globally, Keolis operates in 16 different countries.

Keolis is 70% owned by SNCF – France’s state-owned railway operator – and 30% owned by Canadian pension fund, Caisse de depot et de placement du Québec.

MTR Corporation (Cymru) Ltd

Mass Transit Railway Corporation was established in 1975 as a Hong Kong government-owned statutory corporation to build and operate a mass transit railway system to meet Hong Kong’s public transport needs.

In May 2015, MTR Crossrail commenced an eight-year contract to operate the Crossrail 18-kilometre railway line under development in London and the home counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex.

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