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Naomi Owen led the team at Rowe & Maw which advised Virgin Rail Group (VRG) on its u1.25bn West Coast fleet renewal.
The successful bidder is a consortium of the French company Alstom and Italian Fiat Ferroviaria. Under the terms of the deal, the consortium set up a special purchase company, West Coast Service Provision, which will operate as the train service provider and deliver 53 tilting trains for u592m. Sister company, West Coast Traincare, will provide maintenance of the trains until 2012 for u661m.
The deal also involves the transfer of six light maintenance depots and the existing maintenance business. Under Tupe regulations, 700 employees from VRG subsidiary, West Coast Trains, will also transfer to the consortium. Of the complexity involved in bringing the deal to a conclusion, Owen says: "The train service agreement is a delicate balance between the commercial interests of VRG, the requirements of the franchising director, the regulatory regime under the Railways Act and the best position VRG has been able to negotiate with the train manufacturers in each case."