Latest Rail News

01.07.16

New South Western operator must significantly reduce journey times by 2020

The new South Western franchise will be granted to a bidder who is able to significantly reduce journey times, the DfT has indicated in its newly published invitation to tender, and work to make the Island Line a “self-sustaining business”.

The invitation to tender (ITT) says that the successful franchisee should reduce journey times “above and beyond” the train service specification.

Specifically, this should include procuring rolling stock which can achieve a maximum station dwell time of 45 seconds at stations where the current dwell time is over a minute, and 30 seconds at other stations, by 2020.

The minimum seating requirement is 540 on a 200m train, or 488 on the main suburban or Windsor Lines inner suburban services, while limiting provision of First Class seats.

Island Line future

The ITT also requires the successful bidder to work with the Isle of Wight Council to ensure that the Island Line can become a “self-sustaining business”.

Local campaigners have raised concerns in the past that the line will be abolished under the new franchise, and the DfT has published plans suggesting that it eventually wants the line to become a separate business.

Devolution

The ITT also says that the new franchisee should work with stakeholders, including Transport for London, to ensure that any required devolution “is delivered in a way that minimises disruption, maintains passenger experience and ensures a smooth transition”.

The Office of Rail and Road has indicated that it supports greater railway devolution, with proposals to introduce separate regulation for each of England’s eight geographical routes.

The successful bidder is also required to embed the new Rail Industry Sustainable Development principles in its management of the franchise, including creating a sustainable development strategy and an independently evaluated sustainable procurement strategy.

FirstGroup and MTR have formed a joint venture to bid against current operators Stagecoach for the South Western franchise.

Despite the government’s efforts to promote greater competition in railway franchise bids, South Western is not the only major franchise to have just two bidders competing. MTR announced last month that it is withdrawing from its bid to take over the West Midlands franchise, meaning that the only other competitors are London Midland and West Midlands Trains.

The successful bidder for the South Western franchise will be announced in February 2017 and take over services in June.

(Image c. Alvey and Towers)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

Jerry Alderson   01/07/2016 at 13:26

Re: "procuring rolling stock which can achieve a maximum station dwell time of 45 seconds at stations where the current dwell time is over a minute, and 30 seconds at other stations, by 2020." I'm guessing that reducing from 60+ seconds to 45 means the new trains will have CCTV cameras looking down the length of the train so that the driver can control the opening and closing of the train doors (i.e. Driver Controlled Operation) rather than waiting for the guard to do so, which can easily add 15 seconds to the dwell time.

Peter Gordon   01/07/2016 at 14:11

Does shorter dwell times mean more doors and thus fewer seats? Buses in London tried this a few years ago with bendy buses. They were actually quite successful but withdrawn for political reasons.

Jak Jaye   01/07/2016 at 16:38

Reduce journey times? so that rules out Slow Wobbly Trains then

Henry Law   02/07/2016 at 13:04

The trains will need 3 x 1.5 metre doors per 20 metre vehicle, with stand-back space inside. The PEP was a 3-door vehicle so this must have been an issue when they were designed nearly 50 years ago. Retracting steps to close the gap between platform and train would reduce boarding times and cut accidents as well. If you want seats and plenty of doors then it would mean going back to slam-door trains or something very similar.

Andrew Gwilt   02/07/2016 at 21:52

So the bidders to take over the South Western rail franchise would be-First Group, Abellio, National Express, Arriva and Govia if Stagecoach pulls out the SW rail franchise. I think it could be between National Express and Arriva. Abellio could take over as they are to lose the GA rail franchise to either First or NX.

Add your comment

 

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >