Gatwick Express to see overhaul

A thorough design overhaul of the Gatwick Express rail link is being planned by National Express after the transport group won the franchise to run the service. And more branding work beckons if National Express secures further rail links.

“We want to build a portfolio of rail franchises, each with a strong corporate identity of its own,” says Stephen Grant, project manager for the transport group’s rail interests.

Grant adds: “We want to build up a reputation for good design and focus on the twenty-first century.”

New Gatwick Express rolling stock will be unveiled in summer 1999. “There is a possibility that we may launch a new identity at the same time, or before,” says Grant, who is unable to comment at this stage about how designers would be selected.

However, there is a possibility that the existing Gatwick Express identity might be retained, although this appears to be “unlikely” according to Grant.

Ray Stenning, senior partner at London consultancy Best Impressions, has designed bus and coach exteriors for National Express. He cannot comment about whether he expects to work on the Gatwick Express identity.

Meanwhile, National Express is the preferred bidder for the Midland Main Line rail link, which runs from London to Nottingham and Sheffield. A decision on who will get the franchise will be made in a month.

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