Crossrail TOC set to swallow One and First routes
Transport Briefing: 28/11/07
Transport for London is likely to gain control of suburban rail services currently operated by First Great Western and the National Express One franchise when the London Crossrail project is completed - scheduled for 2017.
Section 8 of the heads of terms agreement published by Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly confirms that TfL is expected to procure a single train operating company to run Crossrail services. This is likely to be along the lines of the concession agreement drawn up for London Overground services, with trains currently operated by MTR/Laing under a tightly specified arrangement with TfL.
The Crossrail TOC would take over the operation of certain existing services currently running out of London Paddington and Liverpool Street stations, to Maidenhead and Shenfield respectively, when the FGW and One franchise agreements end - currently expected in 2015/2014 if options for extensions are agreed by the DfT. The new TOC would receive revenues for the routes assumed and would also inherit the 'operator of last resort' obligations that accompany the services.
Section 10 of the heads of terms agreement confirms that Cross London Rail Links, which is to be restructured as a 100% owned subsidiary of TfL, will own the Crossrail tunnel but that any sale of this will be subject to Department for Transport consent and the application of any proceeds will need to be agreed with the government. Network Rail will maintain infrastructure on the route and new Crossrail stations are likely to be managed by London Underground - at least for those integrated with existing LU stations.