THE FIRST window of opportunity to run London’s new Crossrail services closes today, with a string of transport stalwarts including FTSE-listed FirstGroup, Stagecoach and National Express expected to flag an interest in the route.
Crossrail, which will carry its first trains in May 2015 before opening fully in 2019, has also attracted interest from further afield, with Hong Kong group MTR also believed to be keen.
MTR, which has a 50 per cent stake in the London Overground, also runs metro services in Hong Kong and Stockholm. Other firms that could express an interest in operating Crossrail include Arriva, the German firm that already runs national rail and bus services.
The Crossrail concession will be run in a similar manner to the Overground, with rules on operating hours and staffing levels set by Transport for London.