** On 23 March 2020, as a result of the Coronavirus Outbreak, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps utilised Section 118 of the Railways Act 1993 to suspend all current franchise agreements with private Train Operating Companies and replace them with new Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs), which will run for six months.
These EMAs apply to all franchises currently let by the Department for Transport, except for LNER and Northern, which are already in public ownership.
EMAs do not apply to:
• the ScotRail or the Caledonian Sleeper franchises let by the Scottish Government,
• the Transport for Wales Rail franchise let by the Welsh Government,
• the TfL Rail or London Overground contracts let by Transport for London, or
• the Merseyrail contract let by Merseytravel **
Read on for the original Franchise information…
Since December 2017, the West Midlands franchise has been operated by a consortium comprising Abellio (the international arm of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, the national state-owned rail operator in the Netherlands), JR East (a private-sector rail operator in Japan) and Mitsui (a group of Japanese companies). The franchise includes commuter services on the West Coast Main Line and is intended to end in March 2026. Abellio also operates the Abellio Greater Anglia, East Midlands Railway and ScotRail franchises as well as Merseyrail in a joint venture with Serco.
• Do you use the West Midlands service regularly?
• Do you believe it should be returned to public hands as part of a re-unified national rail network run for people not profit?
• Then, why not start a campaign building up to the franchise end?
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