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First and Stagecoach shortlisted for South Western franchise

Two companies have been shortlisted for the South Western franchise that begins in June 2017.

First South Western Trains Limited and Stagecoach South West Limited have been shortlisted by the Department for Transport after submitting expressions of interest.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “The South Western franchise has some of the busiest routes in the country, serving a diverse range of passengers and places. It is vital that we have the best partner to help us meet the challenge of delivering better journeys for all customers using these services.

“We are investing in additional capacity, and have ambitious plans for smart ticketing, customer service and improved connectivity across the South Western network, to give passengers real benefits across the region and beyond.

“The current franchise is operated by South West Trains, and covers urban, suburban, regional and long-distance routes between London Waterloo, Reading, Bristol, Exeter, Weymouth and Portsmouth. It also includes the Island Line on the Isle of Wight.”

  • For more on this story, see RAIL 794, published on February 17.


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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 05/02/2016 00:52

    I think that Stagecoach will win and to keep South West Trains running for up to 9-10 years with the 30 5-car Siemens Class 707's Desiro City trains to be built and to be in service next year.

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  • BigTone - 08/02/2016 02:30

    Andrew, I agree about First keeping SWT but I think there is something else on the horizon for the new franchise. My own ideal is an upgrade to the Waterloo-Exeter line. Either electrify at 25kv from the end of the 3rd rail to Exeter or a dual mode unit with 3rd rail and diesel with a higher top speed than the 158/9s allowing those units to be cascaded

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    • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 08/02/2016 12:31

      I reckon First Group will win the franchise. As well First Group are also likely to win the bid to take over the Greater Anglia franchise as I would see First Group taking over the franchise in Eastern England.

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