Latest News | 7 March 2023

Rail operator returns to UK ownership

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Rail operator East Midlands Railway has returned to UK ownership following the completion of a buyout deal.

Last year, Netherlands state-run operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen announced it had signed a deal to sell off EMR’s parent company Abellio UK to its management team.

Among the rail and bus operators in the Abellio UK stable is EMR, who will all now transfer to a new company called Transport UK Group.

Completion of the deal follows approval from partners, including the Department for Transport, Transport for London and Merseytravel, as well as regulatory consent from the Office for Rail and Road.

Dominic Booth, managing director of Transport UK Group, said: “We are thrilled to return key public transport services back into UK ownership.

“While our name will change to Transport UK Group, our values remain the same.

“We will continue to play a key role in the country’s transport sector, ensuring the provision of our award-winning services to passengers around the UK and driving innovation to develop a low-emission UK transport network.”

Following the completion of the deal, Transport UK Group will take over all Abellio UK’s existing services, serving millions of rail and bus passengers in London, Liverpool, the Midlands and East Anglia.

It will operate services in the East Midlands, West Midlands and Greater Anglia and over 60 London bus routes. The company will also operate Merseyrail in partnership with Serco.

In the short term, the Abellio brand will remain in operation for parts of the business, but under the Transport UK Group.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen decided to sell Abellio UK in order to refocus its services to and from the Netherlands.

In a statement released by Abellio, it said: “Under its new name, Transport UK remains committed to playing a vital, long-term role in the future of UK rail and bus services, ensuring that it delivers on passenger needs and provides a sustainable, safe, and reliable travel experience.

“The company will also continue to provide its voice and extensive knowledge to help shape the debate on UK rail industry reform, focusing on driving innovation and working with all governmental and industry bodies to shape and implement a future-ready, low-emission UK transport network.”

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