Arriva UK Trains

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Arriva UK Trains
Predecessors Arriva and DB Regio's train operations in the UK
Founded 2011
Key people Chris Burchell (Managing Director)
Parent Arriva
Subsidiaries Alliance Rail Holdings
Arriva Trains Wales
Chiltern Railways
Grand Central
London Overground Rail Operations (50%)
Tyne & Wear Metro

Arriva UK Trains Limited[1] is the company that oversees Arriva's train operating companies in the United Kingdom. It gained its first franchises in February 2000. These were later lost, though several others were gained. In January 2010, with the take-over of Arriva by Deutsche Bahn, Arriva UK Trains also took over the running those formerly overseen by DB Regio UK Limited.[2]


Arriva currently runs the following railway companies:[3]


Arriva's operations[edit]

Arriva Trains Wales/Trenau Arriva Cymru operates the majority of rail services in Wales. The Wales & Borders franchise runs from 7 December 2003 until 13 October 2018, subject to Welsh Assembly Government reviews every five years.[4]

CrossCountry operates long-distance cross-country routes. The New Cross Country franchise runs from 11 November 2007 until 9 November 2019.[5]

LNWR operates train maintenance depots at Bristol, Cambridge, Crewe, Eastleigh and Newcastle.

Arriva Trains Merseyside ran urban rail services on Merseyside from February 2000 until March 2003 and Arriva Trains Northern ran local rail services in Northern England from February 2000 until December 2004. Both franchises were lost to Serco-Abellio.

Former DB Regio UK operations[edit]

In January 2008 it was announced that subject to regulatory approval, Deutsche Bahn would purchase Laing Rail[6][7] which had itself just started operating the London Overground concession in partnership with MTR Corporation. As a result of the Deutsche Bahn purchase, Laing Rail Limited was renamed DB Regio UK Limited in April 2008.

DB Regio UK continued to expand when in February 2009 it was shortlisted[8] and on 3 December 2009 awarded a contract to operate the Tyne & Wear Metro,[9] taking over operations on 1 April 2010.

Following the purchase of Arriva by Deutsche Bahn in August 2010, Arriva UK Trains expanded to taking over Deutsche Bahn's existing DB Regio UK division which consisted of Chiltern Railways, Tyne & Wear Metro, a 50% shareholding in the now closed Wrexham & Shropshire open access operation and a 50% shareholding in London Overground Rail Operations.


Post Merger Growth Strategy[edit]

Arriva UK Trains wishes to expand the number of UK Rail businesses it operates by developing open access operations and successfully bidding for further Department for Transport Rail Franchises.[10] As part of this strategy in November 2011 Arriva bought open-access operator Grand Central Railway for an undisclosed price.[11] Disappointingly in the last full financial year before the purchase, Grand Central's seven return trains a day lost £8.5m leaving an overall deficit of £35m.[12] Alliance Rail Holdings continues to develop new open access proposals following the rejection of their initial plans by the Office of Rail Regulation in 2011.[13]

During 2012 Arriva's applications to bid for the InterCity West Coast, Greater Anglia, Essex Thameside and Thameslink franchises were all rejected by the Department for Transport. Following this run of failure Arriva was publicly critical of the government's prequalification process and called for it to be abolished. However Arriva was shortlisted to bid for the aborted Greater Western franchise in March 2012[14] and the Caledonian Sleeper and Crossrail franchises in 2014.[15][16]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3166214 Arriva UK Trains Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 3076782 DB Regio UK Limited
  3. ^ United Kingdom - Trains Arriva business activities
  4. ^ "Train firm to get £1.6bn" BBC News 20 October 2003
  5. ^ "Virgin loses Cross Country rail" BBC News 10 July 2007
  6. ^ "Deutsche Bahn Announces Acquisition of Laing Rail". Vector1 Media. 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2010-11-27. 
  7. ^ "Deutsche Bahn buys Laing Rail" The Railway Magazine issue 1283 March 2008 page 11
  8. ^ "Foreign bids for Metro contract". BBC News. 2009-02-02. Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  9. ^ "DB Regio preferred bidder for Tyne & Wear Metro operating contract". Railway Gazette International. 2009-12-03. 
  10. ^ Rail Professional interview: Bob Holland Rail Professional October 2011
  11. ^ "Arriva acquires open access operator Grand Central". Railway Gazette International (London). 4 November 2011. 
  12. ^ York train operator Grand Central makes loss of £8.5m York Press 23 August 2011
  13. ^ "New rail link plans to Blackpool and Carlisle rejected". BBC News. 2 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Bidders to oversee improvements on rail franchises announced Department for Transport 29 March 2012
  15. ^ Caledonian sleeper train service bidders named BBC News 28 June 2013
  16. ^ Arriva pre-qualifies for Crossrail concession 25 June 2013