Dutch state railway firm wins another franchise in Britain

Dutch state-owned railway firm NS and its subsidiary Abellio have won a major contract to operate rail franchises between London and Birmingham and Liverpool from 17 December.

Dutch Rail expects its annual revenue to expand by €525m, pushing up annual group turnover up by 7%, Abellio said on Friday.

The franchise, which runs through 2026, has gone to West Midlands Trains, a consortium which also includes Japanese companies Mitsui and the East Japan Railway Company. Abellio has a 70% shareholding in the concession.

The companies are committed to investing nearly £1bn in the venture which includes new rolling stock capable of handling 85,000 more passengers between London and Birmingham during rush hour.

NS is expected to earn more from its non-Dutch rail operations than it does from those in the Netherlands by 2021 or 2022 said financial director Bert Groenewegen earlier this year.

Abellio already runs rail services in Scotland plus Merseyrail and Northern Rail.

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