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Go-Ahead Group Interested in U.K.’s East Anglia Train Line

Go-Ahead Group Plc will consider bidding for the U.K.’s East Anglia railway franchise to build up commuter-train operations, Finance Director Nick Swift said.

Long-distance services “are not really what we do,” Swift said today in an interview in London. “We prefer higher-density, commuter-type of operations. East Anglia fits into that category, so East Anglia would be of interest.”

National Express Group Plc’s East Anglia train-operating franchise expires next year. U.K. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said on Dec. 7 that he may award a shortened contract for the routes and then seek a longer-term agreement starting in 2013. Go-Ahead Group’s current rail franchises include the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland lines.

Swift also said a U.K. antitrust probe of the country’s bus industry is likely to be concluded in a few months. “We don’t expect it to be too significant” because regulators will probably find the market is competitive, “so we’re not expecting anything too bad to come out of that,” he said.

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