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.