Transport User Voice – May 2019 – You and your train company
29 April 2019
The East Midlands franchise has been awarded to Abellio. The new franchise promises to deliver new trains on some routes, more seats and services, as well as a better passenger experience with free Wi-Fi on trains and at stations.
Passengers across the East Midlands network told Transport Focus in its research that their key priorities for improvement are frequent, punctual and reliable services, with more modern trains with free Wi-Fi and power sockets as standard, alongside better catering and toilet facilities on the train.
Once the cooling off period is over and the decision is confirmed formally by the Department for Transport, Transport Focus’s franchising team will begin working with Abellio to ensure that passengers remain front and centre during mobilisation and the early days of the new franchise.
The South Eastern franchise has been extended until at least Sunday 10 November 2019, with the potential for a further extension until April 2020. This means Govia, the current operator, will continue to the run the services until then. The remaining bidders for this competition are Abellio and Govia.
West Coast Partnership
The West Coast Partnership is due to be announced in June 2019, and the final bidders are a joint venture between First Group and Trenitalia and a joint venture between MTR and Guangshen Railway Company.
Stagecoach has been removed from all three franchise competitions due to non-compliant bids, which the Department says did not meet pensions rules.