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Four bidders officially in the running for next South Eastern contract

The final shortlist of bidders for the South Eastern franchise has today been revealed by the DfT.

Amongst the bidders are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Govia Ltd called London and South East Passenger Rail Services, as well as a subsidiary of Stagecoach Group called Stagecoach South Eastern Trains Ltd.

Italian company Trenitalia UK Ltd is also being considered as a potential operator, as is South Eastern Railways Ltd – which is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abellio Transport Group Ltd, but if awarded the franchise it would become a subsidiary of South Eastern Holdings Ltd, a joint venture between Abellio and the consortium of East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co.

From December 2018, the winning bidder will also play a key role in completing two major rail projects in the south – Thameslink and Crossrail – which will expand and improve connectivity for the franchise’s passengers.

Following a passenger survey that found people using trains on the franchise wanted more punctual, reliable services with enough room to sit and stand, a number of ambitions to make services more consistent and to better equip staff to respond to disruption have been highlighted as fundamental for South Eastern’s next operator.

Improving compensation arrangements, which has been frequently cited as an issue for passengers in the south, was also emphasised by rail minister Paul Maynard, who spoke in the House of Commons today.

“The South Eastern franchise is one of the busiest franchises in the UK, running almost 2,000 services every weekday,” he said. “We want passengers to be at the heart of everything that the new operator does, enjoying modern, spacious trains on a more punctual and reliable service.

“We will create more space for passengers in the peak commuting times including by running longer, more modern trains in and around London.”

A public consultation to collect passenger views about the franchise is currently open and will run for the next few days until 30 June.

“We will listen to what passengers say in the current public consultation, and we will seek to make changes and improvements only with their support,” Maynard concluded.

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Networkerfan651   22/06/2017 at 21:37

Wouldn't it be cheaper to refurbish our networkers rather than replacing them with something that will be a step back i.e ironing board seats? The networkers have still got a good few years left of their lives.

Andrew Gwilt   23/06/2017 at 01:10

Who ever wins the SE franchise takes over from what Govia provided the franchise for Southeast London, most parts of Kent and some parts of East Sussex. Including Highspeed services to & from St. Pancras International.

Andrew Gwilt   23/06/2017 at 01:19

Does that mean Class 707's might be moved to Southeastern to replace the Class 465's and Class 466's Networkers as First MTR doesn't want the Class 707's as they are ordering new Bombardier Aventra trains and Southeastern might use the Class 707's on inner-suburban and outer-suburban routes. Or could Southeastern receive the rest of the Class 377/5's Electrostars as they got 8 Class 377/5's at the moment whilst Thameslink are hiring the 15 Class 377/5's as more Class 700/0's (8-Car) and Class 700/1's (12-Car) Siemens Desiro City fleets are delivered. Or will Southeastern keep the Class 465's and Class 466's until the operator decides to order new trains to replace the Class 465's and Class 466's Networkers.

James Miller   23/06/2017 at 09:22

I think it will be intrresting to see what gets offered to run Highsped services to Hastings. Whatever is offered will need improvements at Ashford, a passing loop at Rye and inprovments to the operating speed on the Marshlink Line. Could we see Class 802s working the route? It would be an off-the-shelf solution and I suspecy they could be made to work coupled to Class 395s. The big question would be would they turn round at Hastings, Eastbourne or even Brighton. Certainly more capacity is needed along the East Coastway.

Gabriel Oaks   26/06/2017 at 09:49

"The networkers have still got a good few years left of their lives." Many of the Met-Cam units are badly corroding especially within their sub-frames. For example such failure lead to the complete bogie detachment within Gillingham shed. It is rumoured that 458s might come SET's way.......

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