Monday 27 March 2017

Chinese Firm Bids For South West Train Services

South West Train

MTR, which runs the Hong Kong Metro, has been awarded the franchise along with First Group to run South West Trains (SWT) for seven years.

First MTR will take over from Stagecoach, which currently runs SWT services across south west England to and from London Waterloo.

Stagecoach said it was disappointed with the decision.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the new operators would oversee a £1.2bn investment to improve journeys for millions of train passengers.

It said the new franchise would add 22,000 extra seats into London Waterloo on every morning peak and 30,000 extra seats each evening peak.

A fleet of 90 new trains has also been promised, providing more space for passengers on Reading, Windsor and London routes.

South West Train

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said the deal "marks a new era in joined up working between train operators and Network Rail".

Stagecoach said it was disappointed it had been unsuccessful in its bid for the new franchise.

The firm's chief executive Martin Griffiths said: "We are proud to have operated the network under the South West Trains brand for more than 20 years and we are disappointed that we have been unsuccessful in our bid for the new franchise."

Independent watchdog Transport Focus said SWT passengers had told them they wanted more reliability, more space to sit and stand and modernised stations.

FirstGroup chief executive Tim O'Toole said they were "delighted" their partnership with MTR had been chosen by the DfT, and promised "tangible improvements" to the franchise.

"Passengers can look forward to new and better trains, more seats and services, quicker journey times, improved stations and more flexible fare options," he said.

Jeremy Long, from MTR, said: "Together we will deliver a major programme of upgrades, including improvements to both rail services and customer experience, for passengers travelling across the South Western network."



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.