Merseyrail is a unique concession in the UK as the role of central Government in managing the delivery of the concession has been delegated by the UK Parliament to the Passenger Transport Executive (Merseytravel) and the concession agreement is between the operator and Merseytravel.
The length of the concession is 25 years from 20 July 2003 with review dates along the way, allowing both Merseytravel and us to plan longer term in specifying and delivering railway passenger services.
Merseyrail is one of the most intensively used networks in the UK with over 800 train services daily during the week. It has a clock face, regular interval timetable with 15-minute frequencies, increasing to 5 minutes on city centre sections. There are approximately 130,000 passenger journeys per weekday or 30 million passenger journeys per annum. Nearly 50% of passengers are daily users.
Merseyrail is responsible for delivering the railway services – train service delivery, managing stations, customer service and fleet maintenance. Use of the track is through an access agreement with the infrastructure owner, Network Rail from whom the stations and depots are leased. The trains are leased from Angel Trains leasing company.
The concession is operated by Merseyrail Electrics (2002) Ltd, a 50/50 Joint Venture company between Serco and Abellio.
Who are Serco?
Serco has wealth of experience both in implementing new-build rail and metro systems and operating and maintaining existing ones - with the common and consistent outcome of providing a transformed customer experience.
They work in highly effective trusted partnerships with our clients and establish strong relationships with other industry organisations to ensure that their contract commitments are met and exceeded.
They are members of Rail Delivery Group which brings together the owners of Britain's Train Operating Companies, Freight Operating Companies and Network Rail to provide leadership to Britain's rail industry.
Together with their joint venture partner Abellio, they commenced operation of Merseyrail in 2003, a 25-year concession awarded by Merseytravel providing local train services to the Liverpool City Region. In April 2015 they began operations of Caledonian Sleepers services between Scotland and London.
Based in Derby and with a long history of providing independent technical services to the rail industry Serco Rail Technical services. The range of specialist services includes the operation of one of Europe's leading test tracks as well as specialist engineering and data management activities.
In the Middle East Serco successfully implemented the first two stages of the Dubai Metro on behalf of Dubai RTA, and they are proud to be sustaining one of the top performing Metros in the world. Serco also operate and maintain the Palm Jumeriah monorail and an automated people mover at Dubai airport. In September 2013 they were awarded the contract to operate the Al Sufouh tram system in Dubai.
Established in 2001, Abellio won its first contract, Merseyrail in 2003 in the UK transport market. Since then, the company has grown to become a major operator in the UK, adding Abellio Greater Anglia and Scotrail to its portfolio. Abellio London & Surrey operates bus services in Central, South and West London and across North Surrey. Abellio Germany is one of the leading public transport operators in Germany, providing bus services in the federal state of Saxony and rail services in North Rhine Westphalia. Qbuzz was founded in April 2008. In 2013 NS acquired 100% of the shares from the founders. The company operates three bus/tram concessions in the Netherlands and is also bidding entirely for public transport contracts.
Through its Best Practice programme Abellio systematically supports the performance of its businesses. The programme provides a platform for exchanging knowledge, experience and expertise across Abellio’s parent company Netherlands Railways and Abellio’s businesses and gives staff the opportunity to share common (and differing) capabilities, grow their own experience base, and build relationships across the family of companies. The programme offers activities such as biannual international seminars, site visits, secondments, benchmarks, and workshops, managed by functional leaders within Abellio.