The British department for transport has announced First MTR South Western Trains has been awarded the South Western franchise. First MTR is a partnership between China-based MTR and First Group. The new organisation will take over from Stagecoach, which currently runs South Western Trains services across south west England to and from London Waterloo.
First Great Western has announced proposals to deliver the largest train fleet upgrade in a generation on the Great Western network as part of its plans for the new franchise that starts in September, and will run until at least April 2019. In a deal put together with the department for transport, First Great Western’s plans would see the age of First Great Western’s train fleet cut by more than half, and would create for our customers 9,000 additional seats every day by the end of the franchise.
Tim O’Toole, CEO of FirstGroup, has publicly criticised Virgin Trains’ performance citing the Public Performance Measure (PPM), which measures the number of trains arriving on time, as evidence to support his claims that FirstGroup would operate West Coast better.