- the current franchise covers routes and stations between London Waterloo, Reading, Bristol, Exeter, Weymouth and Portsmouth
- the new operator will be due to take over the franchise in June 2017
- bidders will now need to demonstrate how they will deliver better journeys for passengers
The Department for Transport has today (4 February 2016) announced the 2 train companies that have been shortlisted for the South Western franchise competition, after submitting an expression of interest.
The shortlisted bidders are:
- First South Western Trains Limited
- Stagecoach South West Limited
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.