Latest News | 14 September 2022

Rail operator set to return to UK ownership

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East Midlands Railway is set to be run by a new UK transport company after its Dutch parent firm announced its intention to sell it.

Currently, the rail operator is run by Abellio UK, which is owned by Nederlandse Spoorwegen.

Now, the Netherlands state-run operator said it will sell off EMR to Abellio UK’s management team, which is forming a new company called Transport UK Group.

As a result of the deal, Transport UK Group, will operate EMR, along with three other rail passenger services, and more than 50 London bus routes.

Nederlandse Spoorwegen has said it wants to sell in order to refocus its services to and from the Netherlands.

Transport UK Group will take over all of Abellio UK’s existing services in the East Midlands, West Midlands, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail and London,
The new group will be led by managing director Dominic Booth.

He said: “I’ve been a railwayman all my life. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return key public transport services back into UK ownership at a time when some of our competitors look destined for overseas ownership.

“We expect the business to transfer by the end of the year, following which we will focus all our energies and expertise on continuing to deliver the best possible services for our passengers, investing in our train and bus routes, and helping to develop a future-ready, low emission UK transport network.”

Bert Groenewegen, acting chief executive of Nederlandse Spoorwegen, said: “After a successful 20 years in the UK passenger transport market, NS is proud to support this natural next step for Abellio UK as it transitions with our blessing into a new management-owned passenger transport group.”

Mr Booth said: “This deal will put us in a strong position to continue the smooth operating of our current routes, as well as giving us the capability to grow the business and bid for new franchises in the future.

“Beyond that, we are, and will continue to be, thought leaders in our sector determined to play a long-term and vital role in future of UK transport.”

Completion of the buyout is subject to formal 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.

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