Sunderland firm in running to operate London’s new Crossrail service

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WEARSIDE public transport giant Arriva is in the running to help London get to work on time.

The Doxford International-based firm has made the shortlist of firms in contention to operate the capital’s new Crossrail service, which is due to launch in five years’ time.

Arriva submitted an expression of interest for the Crossrail concession in April, and has now learned from Transport for London (TfL) it is one of four firms to make it through to the final selection.

Bob Holland, Arriva’s managing director – UK, said: “We submitted a strong expression of interest, and to be selected by Transport for London to bid for this innovative contract is excellent news.

“We have worked successfully in partnership with Transport for London since 2007, transforming the London Overground network.

“We are confident that we can draw from this – and the wealth of experience we and our parent company DB have elsewhere in UK and European rail – to help us create a winning bid that will contribute to creating a unique railway that is fully integrated with London’s transport network, and will offer a step change in quality for the people of London.”

Arriva already operates six rail businesses in the UK – Grand Central, Tyne and Wear Metro, Arriva Trains Wales, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry and London Overground Rail Operations Ltd.

It is also one of London’s largest bus operators, running almost a fifth of its routes.

The Crossrail project is a joint venture between TfL and the Department for Transport to build a new link between Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

The project has involved building eight new stations and upgrading existing ones, and it will provide the first direct connection between all London’s main business centres.

If successful, Arriva will be responsible for running up to 24 trains per hour in the central section between Paddington and Whitechapel during peak periods.

With each train able to carry 1,500 passengers, an estimated 200million people a year will travel on Crossrail.

The firm also runs train services in Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland.