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Railhub Archive
2002-07-01 SRA-001
Strategic Rail Authority


£29m benefits package secured for South West Trains passengers

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Strategic Rail Authority

£29m benefits package secured for South West Trains passengers

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1 July 2002
source Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) today announced a £29m package that will
enable continued progress with major improvements on the country's largest
rail franchise, South West Trains.

Specific commitments from South West Trains include:
Commissioning and introduction of new "Desiro" trains, driver training,
and leasing and modification of depots for maintenance of the new
Introduction of extra capacity on rush hour services from Winter 2002,
including those from Alton, Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Woking and
Additional Sunday services both ways on the Waterloo to Reading,
Chessington, Windsor and Hampton Court routes, and additional
evening services from Portsmouth and Poole to Waterloo - as
introduced in this Summer's timetable;
Further development work on the extension of platforms to
accommodate longer trains, and continued progress on funding
mechanisms for these and other station improvements;
Preparatory work for increasing services on the Windsor Lines.

In April 2001 the SRA announced it had signed "Heads of Terms" with
Stagecoach Group as Preferred Counterparty for a new South West Trains
franchise. The company has started implementation of these and other early
improvements included in the Heads of Terms, and the Deed of Amendment
announced today provides firm contractual commitments to their delivery
whilst negotiations continue towards the long-term franchise.

The Deed of Amendment provides for increased SRA franchise payments to
the company totalling £29 million to February 2003.

Nick Newton, Chief Operating Officer at the SRA, said:
"Today's agreement is of real importance to travellers on the very busy South
West Trains network. With the company's continued commitment to getting
785 new carriages into service, ongoing planning for longer platforms, and
introduction of more services and capacity, passengers will shortly start to see
tangible improvements. Meanwhile the SRA will continue detailed negotiations
with Stagecoach Group on a new long-term franchise."

Graham Eccles, Chairman of South West Trains, said:
"Both the SRA and Stagecoach are committed to putting the needs of the
passengers first. We are working closely with the SRA to ensure that our
network is ready for the new trains and to improve services to passengers in
the meantime. There is no need to delay these improvements while the fine
details of the franchise are still being discussed."

Notes to Editors:

1. South West Trains operates services from London Waterloo to Woking,
Basingstoke, Guildford, Southampton, Weymouth, Portsmouth, Exeter
and Reading, serving a mixture of long and short distance travellers,
with a high percentage of commuters.
2. Stagecoach Group has operated the South West Trains franchise since
February 1996.

Railhub Archive ::: 2002-07-01 SRA-001


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