The Department for Transport today announced First / Trenitalia as the successful bidder for the West Coast Partnership. The new franchise will start on 9 December 2019.

The new operator will initially run intercity services on the West Coast Main Line, but from 2026 will also run the new High Speed 2 services until the end of the franchise in 2031.

 West Coast Rail 250 met with First / Trenitalia (and the other bidders) several times during the bidding process, and will be seeking an early meeting with them before the franchise becomes operational.

 Further details of the DfT announcement can be found on their website at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/west-coast-marks-new-partnership-model-for-rail