Chiltern MD DAVE PENNEY, riding ‘on the cushions’, chats to JAMES ABBOTT and PHILIP SHERRATT

All good things, including award-winning long franchises, must come to an end eventually. Chiltern, famed for securing a 20-year franchise from the Strategic Rail Authority in 2002, is coming to that point, with the curtain set to come down in 2021.

The UK rail market has experienced a tumultuous period in recent years and the Government’s announcement late this summer of a franchising review will surprise few in the industry. Naturally, Arriva-owned Chiltern Railways is interested in what this means for the market and the consequences it may have for current franchise end dates. Should this allow Chiltern to operate post-2021 it would offer the opportunity to build on a strong record of achievement, partner with new parts of the infrastructure like East West Rail and High Speed 2 and improve the chances of realising the company’s ambition to serve Old Oak Common.

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