Rail Executive launches franchise ‘passports'

The Rail Executive has launched a pre-qualification process to find bidders interested in upcoming rail franchise programmes.

Under the plans, the Rail Executive – Passenger Services organisation intends to operate a ‘passport system’ that will see bidders pre-qualified for four years and it will replace the current separate, franchise specific pre-qualification questionnaire.

“For each specific rail franchise competition Passenger Services will, at a later stage, require passport holders that express an interest to respond to an additional set of pre-qualification questions that is specifically tailored to that franchise,” the tender notice explains.

A series of franchise opportunities are due to come up over the next five years, which could offer new opportunities for developers to get involved in the sector.

The government has previously sought to increase the way in which land surrounding stations can be unlocked for private developments, whether through retail or residential operat5ions, or both.