NEW OPERATORS have been named to take over two of the three franchises in central England which are to start on November 11 (RG 11.05 p666).

The Department for Transport announced on June 21 that Govia will run the re-mapped West Midlands network, and the following day confirmed that Stagecoach had been selected for East Midlands. The two will replace the Silverlink, Central Trains and Midland Main Line franchises currently run by National Express Group.

Govia subsidiary London & Birmingham Railway will integrate the Silverlink County outer-suburban services running northwest from the capital with Central's local and regional services radiating from Birmingham. The franchise will run for 7 years and 10 months, over which period DfT Rail will pay subsidies totalling £1 127m. Govia has committed to order 37 four-car Class 350 Desiro EMUs plus 15 three-car and 12 two-car Class 172 Turbostar DMUs for delivery by July 2010.

Under the 7 year 4 month East Midlands franchise, Stagecoach Midland Rail will start by receiving subsidy and then move into premium, paying a net £133m to DfT.