NXEC to be nationalised

The Secretary of State for Transport, Lord Adonis, confirmed this morning to the BBC and in parliament that NXEC is to be taken into public ownership after admitting that it will be unable to make it’s premium payments.

This means that ECML will be brought into temporary public ownership, just under 2 years since it was last run by the government when GNER failed.

This also means that the ECML will be out to tender in 2010, so it is now time to get to the DfT to improve the service into Forster Square, either now, or when the franchise is retendered.

When GNER collapsed it was contracted to pay £1.3 billion for the life of the contract which it accepted it couldn’t pay. When National Express took over they promised to pay £1.4bn. £100 ,000,000 more than GNER couldn’t pay.

This equates to a payment to the Government of £500,000 for every day of the contract.

However, according to National Express main press release this will not happen, however it’s trading statement, here, provides a much bleaker picture.

NXEC state that they are failing due to financial problems, however whilst it is their greatest problem, it is closely followed by:

  • increasing failure of trains (too many to list),
  • removal of many restaurant facilities (one of the lucrative revenue streams, but with an unappealing menu)
  • not being able to regularly supply hot water from a trolley (maybe use a flask like on German ICE trains)
  • “crew shortages” (how difficult is it for all staff to turn up-to work on Monday mornings?)
  • and communication (if we suddenly come to a sudden stop, you need to tell us quickly – in under a minute: a) That we’ve stopped – and not had an accident, b) Why, c) What is being done about it d) How long it will take to be moving again e) be honest about it. )
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