Department for Transport
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Rail passenger service contracts market engagement day announced

Passenger service contracts create a new way of working between the public and private sector to provide punctual and reliable rail passenger services.

  • Passenger service contracts (PSCs) set to be introduced for rail operators as part of Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail reforms
  • new contracts designed to deliver high-quality, punctual and reliable services on a rail network focused on passengers
  • the first phase of market engagement, to encourage new, ambitious thinking into the railways, will begin with the Rail PSC Day on 4 November

The first phase of industry engagement on new passenger service contracts (PSCs) will begin on 4 November 2021, bringing government and stakeholders together to ensure a joint focus on a more passenger-focused railway for the future.

PSCs will be introduced as a key tool in rail reforms, establishing a new way of working between the public and private sector to provide high-quality, punctual and reliable passenger services.

They will encourage greater private sector involvement, offering new market entrants and existing operators the chance to showcase innovation and expertise and work collaboratively with the new public body, Great British Railways (GBR), to deliver the reforms proposed in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

The upcoming engagement exercise will provide potential bidders with the opportunity to learn more about the future commercial model, raise questions and have their say in the development of the contracts.

The Department for Transport is working not only to maintain successful partnerships with existing passenger service operators, but also to encourage new entrants to the rail market, including those from other transport sectors and those from outside the UK to bring in fresh ideas, investment and innovation from outside the rail network.

Chris Heaton-Harris Rail Minister said:

Our Plan for Rail will deliver the most significant reforms to our railways in a generation. Unlocking the expertise, investment and ingenuity of the private sector – including new and ambitious market entrants – is vital to delivering the reforms that put passengers first.

I encourage all those interested in playing a central role in the future of Britain’s railways to engage with this process, helping build a railway that is fit for the future.

Under Great British Railways, the railway will be organised in a new way, fixing the fragmentation, confusion and overcomplexity of the past. It will provide simple, sustainable and accountable leadership – one body to maintain and improve the infrastructure, foster innovation, build trust in the system and attract more passengers back to the network.

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