The UK Department for Transport has invited companies to bid to run the new West Coast Partnership. The successful bidder will operate the West Coast service until 2031. The selected operator will drive improvements on the current services on the existing West Coast line and will also oversee the introduction of HS2 services from 2026 and work with the department and HS2 to consider the options for the future.
As a minimum, West Coast passengers will benefit from improved accessibility, simpler fares and modern ticketing, as well as improved compensation – with passengers on the route eligible to receive money back for delays of just 15 minutes.
“The new West Coast Partnership will deliver immediate benefits to passengers and pave the way for the seamless introduction of HS2, with one operator responsible for all aspects of the journey, designed to deliver the best-possible passenger service. I want HS2 to become a strong British organisation, potentially capable of not just building, but also operating a successful railway – a beacon for other countries to aspire to, both in terms of the engineering project to build it and the service it will offer to passengers, which we will introduce on the West Coast Partnership,” Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said.