Incumbent rail operator Arriva Trains Wales has informed Transport for Wales that it intends to withdraw from the bidding process for the next Wales and Borders rail franchise.
Transport for Wales (TfW) said that it is not uncommon for bidders for major projects to withdraw during the tender process.
Arriva Trains Wales’ withdrawal leaves Abellio Rail Cymru, KeolisAmey and MTR Corporation (Cymru) in the running.
In a statement, a TfW spokesperson said that Arriva Trains Wales has “been clear they have done this for their own commercial reasons” and thanked them for their extensive work to date.
The spokesperson added: “With final tenders due later this year, we have three companies with world-class credentials each putting their own, distinct cases for how they will deliver the ambitious objectives we set with the goal of delivering a step change in rail services for passengers across Wales and the Borders.”