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Abellio derails National Express East Anglia bid

The travel operator lost out to Dutch rail operator Abellio.
Train station
Abellio pledged to cut journey times by 10%.

National Express (LON:NEX) has lost out to Dutch rail operator Abellio in its bid to run the East Anglia rail networks.

The travel operator had bid for the nine-year contract to run train services in the East of England between Liverpool Street and Norwich, but it was awarded to Abellio which currently runs the service.

Abellio, a subsidiary of state-owned Nederlandse Spoorwegen, will run he service from October. It has pledged to deliver faster, more frequent journeys and a £1.4bn investment in rail services.

It planned to cut journey times by 10% on average across the region, with a new 90-minute service between Norwich and London.

Abellio also agreed a £1bn contract with Canadian manufacturer Bombardier.

“We are naturally disappointed because we delivered a disciplined bid that balanced significant customer improvement with excellent value to taxpayers and a fair return for shareholders,” said National Express in a statement today.

FirstGroup PLC (LON:FGP) was also reported to have lost out after submitting "a compelling, deliverable, and value for money bid."

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