To this end, each ERMA requires that, by mid-December 2020, OCD agree with the DfT to determine whether and, if so, the amount of parent company assistance or other payments are required to terminate existing franchise agreements. If such termination amounts were agreed, they would be due at the end of the ERMA term, and the existing franchise agreement would also be contractually terminated. However, if the amount of termination of a TOC cannot be agreed by mid-December, the DfT has the right to terminate this ERMA prematurely, with the OCD returning from mid-January 2021 to the essentials of all existing deductible conditions. Provided that the termination amounts are agreed, the DfT intends to negotiate a new direct award contract under which OCD will provide passenger services after the end of the ERMA. The deal replaces the old West Coast Rail Direct Award 2018 franchise agreement, which expired on December 8, 2019. The West Coast Partnership (WCP) is a UK-based railway company for passenger trains on the West Coast Main Line (and their branches), between London Euston, the West Midlands, Shropshire, North Wales, Liverpool, Manchester, Carlisle, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It was created in December 2019 and is currently operated by Avanti West Coast. ERMA replaces the emergency assistance agreements put in place by the DfT in March to ensure passenger and industry continuity during the coronavirus pandemic and operate in a similar manner. During the life of the ERMC, DfT will continue to forego the revenues, costs and venture capital risks of railway companies (OCDs) and pay them a fixed administrative fee.

There is also potential for an additional results-related charge, based on measures such as punctuality, passenger satisfaction and financial performance. The total royalty potential is 1.5% of the maximum cost base of each franchise prior to the pandemic. The fixed fee and total royalty potential for each CST are lower than the emergency agreements in the new AMRs and are more weighted over service delivery. ERMA does not make substantial changes to the closed cash or working capital mechanisms in place for these transactions. In November 2016, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that the InterCity West Coast franchise will be replaced by the West Coast Partnership, which will offer express services on both the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and High Speed 2 (HS2). The contract will begin in December of this year and will replace the current Virgin and Stagecoach franchise, but the first round of major changes is expected in December 2022, when 263 additional services will be added per week. There will be new destinations, with Intercity West Coast trains arriving for the first time in Gobowen, Llandudno and Walsall. Motherwell must also become an important point of contact for most West Coast partnership services The DfT required the new operator to have experience in high-speed trains and infrastructure, which is why all bidders have a partnership with an Asian or European high-speed operator. [3] [4] In June 2017, the DfT announced that three consortiums had been shortlisted to apply for the franchise:[5][6] About First Rail FirstGroup is one of the most experienced rail operators in the UK and the only one to operate all types of long-term, regional, suburban and threshold railways.