Abellio welcomed the decision by the Department for Transport to select West Midlands Trains Ltd (WMT) as the winning bidder to run the next West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017. WMT is a joint venture, owned by Abellio and its partners for the bid, Mitsui and East Japan Railway Company (JR East).
Over the next nine years, WMT will deliver nearly £1bn into the region with £700m of this going into new and refurbished trains. This is another example of Abellio bringing investment to the places it operates in. When we start operations in the West Midlands, we will oversee over £3bn of investment into new trains across all of our franchises.
WMT will be running the West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6. Abellio has a 70.1% share of the company, East Japan Railway Company (JRE) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) own the remaining 29.9% in a 50:50 split.
The Franchise will be the first joint overseas rail business by Mitsui and JRE. This is the first time that JRE has participated in the operation of passenger rail services outside of Japan. For Mitsui, the Franchise is its second passenger rail service in the U.K., following its participation in the East Anglia franchise.