A selection of railway operators are one step closer to a winning bid for two UK rail networks after the Department for Transport announced its shortlist for the West Coast Partnership and South Eastern franchises. Those UK operators looking to secure the former have had to team up with foreign high speed rail companies, as the deal will also include running the initial HS2 high speed services between London and Birmingham from 2026 in addition to responsibility for services on the West Coast Main Line from April 2019. Only one of the four bidders for South Eastern are solely UK operated, raising questions about the need for foreign companies to step in.
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