FirstGroup and MTR team up for South Western rail bid

First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery said the firm has 'extensive experience'. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL
First Rail managing director Steve Montgomery said the firm has 'extensive experience'. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL
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Aberdeen-based transport giant FirstGroup is teaming up with MTR Corporation to bid for the South Western rail franchise.

The franchise, which is currently run by Perth-based Stagecoach, will be awarded in February 2017, and FirstGroup was shortlisted for the route earlier this year.

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Steve Montgomery, First Rail managing director, said: “We have extensive expertise of running commuter, inter-urban, regional and long ­distance services – such as those that make up the South Western franchise – and a strong track record in delivering passenger growth.”

FirstGroup said MTR, which will take a 30 per cent stake, runs successful suburban and commuter railways, and “their knowledge from running London Overground and TfL Rail on behalf of Transport for London will add further depth and understanding to an important component of this franchise”.