Future of East Midlands Railway franchise in doubt after CMA voices concerns

The awarding of the East Midlands Railway franchise to Abellio could be in doubt.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said the franchise award could “result in a substantial lessening of competition” in the rail market.

The CMA now says that Abellio has until July 26 to persuade it that this won’t be the case.

Dutch firm Abelli was announced as the successful bidder to operate the East Midlands Railway franchise in April.

The firm was take over the franchise from Stagecoach from August 2019 until 2027, vowing to invest £600m in new trains and upgrades to stations.

However, in May, Stagecoach started legal action against the Department for Transport (DfT) after losing the East Midlands rail franchise.