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New National Rail Contract agreed for the West Coast Partnership

A new National Rail Contract (NRC) for the West Coast Partnership (WCP) has been agreed with the Department for Transport (DfT).

WCP comprises Avanti West Coast and West Coast Partnership Development – the
Shadow Operator for the HS2 programme.

The NRC will commence on 15 October 2023 and will last until 17 October 2032 subject to ongoing DfT approval. It begins with a core three-year term to 18 October 2026.

Commenting on the announcement, Avanti West Coast Managing Director Andy Mellors said:

“The National Rail Contract for the West Coast Partnership announced today provides stability for customers and colleagues as we continue to rebuild trust as well as confidence.

“Over the last six months, we have delivered significant and sustained improvements in operational performance and customer satisfaction. Cancellations that Avanti West Coast is responsible for have stabilised at below two percent of scheduled services. The last year has been challenging but I would like to thank our customers as well as stakeholders for their patience.

“There are still challenges ahead but plenty to look forward to on our network including customer benefits such as the continued award-winning refurbishment of our Pendolinos and the introduction of our new Hitachi fleet, which will increase capacity and further improve our sustainability credentials.”

Shamit Gaiger, Managing Director, of the West Coast Partnership Development, said:

“The new National Rail Contract will enable us to continue to focus on the design, development and implementation of future high-speed services on the network as we aim to set new standards in UK rail.

“We are committed to working with our partners to realise the benefits these services will provide to our economy, communities and passengers. As the infrastructure is built, we will ensure customers are at the heart of future high-speed services on the West Coast.”

You can read the full announcement here – National Rail Contract for West Coast Partnership (