The four shortlisted bidders are:

  • Arriva Crossrail
  • Keolis/Go Ahead
  • MTR Corporation (Crossrail), and
  • National Express Group

TfL plans to issue the invitation to tender and a winning bidder will be announced at the end of next year.

The successful bidder will take over existing suburban services between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield from the Greater Anglia franchise in May 2015 using the existing train fleet.

Crossrail has started the procurement of a fleet of 60 10-car trains worth around £1bn with the first trains due to enter service in May 2017. The main Crossrail services connecting Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Paddington will start in late 2018, with the full service to Maidenhead scheduled to begin operating in December 2019. Crossrail is expected to carry about 200 million passengers a year.