The department has concluded negotiations with South West Trains for a deed of amendment to their franchise which will deliver the additional capacity set out in the government’s rail investment strategy.
The project is being managed by Stagecoach South Western Trains. In accordance with usual procurement practice, there is a standstill period of 10 days before Stagecoach South Western Trains will be in a position to enter into, and complete, the formal contractual documentation and make the award to the successful tenderers and enter into a deed of amendment to the current franchise agreement. The process is expected to be finalised in the coming week but we have jointly announced our intention to enter into a deed of amendment to their franchise agreement to deliver the additional capacity set out in the rail investment strategy.
I am very aware of how crowded South West Trains’ suburban services are, particularly in the morning peak. The result of the department’s successful negotiation is 150 new vehicles – Thameslink variants – which will be used on the Windsor Lines, leading to an internal cascade which will deliver a full 10 car suburban network, making use of platforms 1 to 4 at Waterloo which Network Rail are extending. The Windsor Line trains will use the platforms at Waterloo International, which are being brought back into full use in 2017. There are a number of additional works along the route and at stations which will deliver benefits for passengers.
In addition, this proposal will provide 2 more services on the Main Line, which will be the focus of our strategic planning for the next control period, which begins in 2019. The 2 additional services are expected to commence in May 2018 and would start from Woking and from Basingstoke. There would be 4 additional peak trains from Hounslow, also commencing in May 2018, providing additional capacity on the suburban network.