Rail contract goes to thelondonpaper

Network Rail has awarded the contract to distribute free afternoon newspapers at its stations to News International's thelondonpaper.

NI won the seven-year contract after a lengthy tendering process, which saw it beat off competition from its rival in the London freesheet market, Associated Newspapers.

Under the terms of the deal, thelondonpaper can be distributed via bins at ten major London rail stations including Euston, King's Cross, Waterloo and Victoria. This will mean NI can use fewer vendors around the stations.

NI sources said the deal demonstrates the extent of its long-term commitment to thelondonpaper and emphasised that it will cover the period of the 2012 London Olympics when London rail traffic is expected to increase dramatically.

Network Rail kicked off the tender process in May and pitched the contract as an opportunity to reach more than one million passengers daily. A separate contract offering the chance for newspaper owners to distribute an afternoon title via the London Underground has yet to be awarded.