LONDON (dpa-AFX) - FirstGroup plc (FGROY.PK,FGROF.PK,FGP.L) said that a new National Rail Contract or NRC has been agreed with the U.K. Department for Transport or DfT for the West Coast Partnership or WCP, which is a partnership between FirstGroup (70%) and Trenitalia UK Ltd (30%).
The West Coast Partnership National Rail Contract comprises Avanti West Coast and the West Coast Partnership Development or 'WCPD', the shadow operator for the HS2 program.
As per terms of the contract, the new National Rail Contract will commence on 15 October 2023, when WCP's current contractual agreement ends.
The contract is for nine years and has a minimum core three-year term to 18 October 2026, following which a further six years until 17 October 2032, subject to ongoing DfT approval.
The National Rail Contract is a management contract under which the DfT retains all revenue risk and substantially all cost risk.
West Coast Partnership will earn a fixed management fee of 5.1 million pounds per annum to deliver the contract with the opportunity to earn a variable fee of up to 15.8 million pounds per annum based on a number of criteria.
Avanti is working through a 117 million pounds refurbishment program for its 56-strong electric Pendolino fleet which is delivering a step change in onboard customer experience.
As part of the new contract, WCP will continue to develop and implement initiatives to reduce its impact on the environment and, as such, Avanti has placed a 350 million pounds order for 23 brand new electric or bi-mode Hitachi trains. The trains will reduce carbon footprint, and the operator will continue its work to improve air quality and increase waste recycling.
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