West coast partnership rail franchise – technical support


Provision of key subject matter experts (SMEs) to participate in bid evaluation of West Coast Partnership competition

High Speed 2 (HS2) is Britain’s new high speed rail line linking
London with Birmingham. It is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe and the most important economic and social regeneration project in decades. The InterCity West Coast rail franchise – which served many of the cities to be served by HS2 – was superceded in 2019 by an innovative new rail franchise known as the West Coast Partnership, to operate express services on both the West Coast Main Line and HS2.

Direx Solutions provided a team of key subject matter experts to participate in the bid evaluation for the competition. Our skilled individuals assessed day-to-day elements of the operation, the capability of providing Shadow Operator services, and evaluated the management structures required to run such a complex and changing organisation.

The purpose of the new franchise will alter over time as HS2 evolves. It is currently running the existing West Coast Main Line franchise and providing Shadow Operator services to inform the HS2 design. In the next phase, the operator will continue to run the franchise whilst mobilising and recruiting for future high-speed services. In the final phase, the operator will run both the franchise and HS2 services as the Integrated Operator.