UK’s Government has released the South Western rail franchise competition specification documents for bidders.
Under the plans, the franchise bidders must set out how they will deliver more trains and more space for passengers, wil have to deliver quicker journey times for passengers on at least 70% of services. The new operator is expected to take over the franchise in June 2017.
First South Western Trains Ltd and Stagecoach South West Ltd are the 2 shortlisted bidders for the franchise were announced in February 2016.
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 Isle of Wight.
Bidders for the South Western franchise have until September 2016 to submit their bids, with the new operator planned to take over the franchise in June 2017.