Transport User Voice – You and your train company
25 April 2017
Focus on Great Western Railway
Many in the railway world want to see track and train working closer together. This is now developing on the Great Western Railway (GWR) with the establishment of the Western Route Supervisory Board. The first of its type, it includes the managing directors of Network Rail Western Route, GWR and Heathrow Express and an independent chair Dick Fearn.
Nina Howe, Senior Stakeholder Manager covering the Great Western rail network, will represent Transport Focus on the Board. She will ensure that our wealth of experience and insight helps Network Rail and the train operators stay focused on delivering what rail passengers want.
Great Western Railway engineering work
Projects including the electrification currently underway on the Great Western main line promise improved journeys and stations as well as less crowded, more frequent trains. However passengers will also have to endure disruption to their journeys while these much-needed, long-promised benefits are delivered.
We’re working to ensure GWR retains the support of its passengers, by ensuring it takes full account of passengers’ needs when planning and undertaking engineering work. Using our research and wider insight we seek to provide the passenger perspective in the rail industry planning process.
This year will see even more engineering work being undertaken so it’s critical that passengers receive accurate and useful information at least 12 weeks in advance. We’ve been working to ensure GWR passengers can make informed decisions about their travel plans and have the help and support needed from staff during the disruption.
East Midlands train services – what do passengers think
What do East Midlands Trains passengers think of their service? What do they want for the future? We’re finding out. Research is underway into what passengers using East Midland Trains services want from a new franchise with focus groups being held with passengers from right across the network.
There are now three shortlisted bidders for the new franchise – Stagecoach (the current operator), Arriva and First Trenitalia. The Department for Transport will hold a public consultation on the new franchise, and we will share details of this and how to respond as soon as information is available.
Wales and Borders
The current Wales and Borders rail franchise, Arriva Trains Wales, runs until October 2018. Through focus groups passengers have been sharing with us their experiences and aspirations for the future of this rail network. We’re currently digesting the results and expect to publish our report in summer.
Meanwhile, Transport for Wales is currently consulting on the new services until 23 May. It is vital that Transport for Wales benefit from a wide cross-section of views, so click here to have your say. We will publish our response, based on passengers’ priorities, later this year.