Learning from FirstGroup in the UK: How to do it right

March 30, 2017

This is a great example of how to maximize revenue and ridership and comfort and efficiency and mobility

Editor’s Note: In the story below, look at the service enhancements and new private sector investments in the UK bid in order to win this franchise. What was running there before under the now-replaced South West Trains was already a more dense, high-performance, regional network than anything in the United States.

Here in the states, picture use of an approach like this to boosting regional network services in California, Oklahoma or Illinois (or anyplace else) if a state or partnership of states were to adopt a process of soliciting competing bids from qualified private sector operators. It would break the no-can-do death grip of the incumbent perpetually high-priced monopoly based in Washington, D.C. – CCRail.com Editor


FirstGroup and MTR clinch South Western franchise

Written by Keith Barrow, International Railway Journal

BRITAIN’s Department for Transport (DfT) announced on March 27 that it has selected a 70:30 joint venture of FirstGroup and MTR for a contract to operate the South Western franchise, ousting Stagecoach subsidiary South West Trains, which has operated the franchise since privatisation in 1996.

First MTR South Western Trains will take over operation of the network on August 20 under a contract which runs until August 2024, with an option for an 11-month extension. The joint venture plans to invest £1.2bn over the first four years of the new franchise, increasing capacity, accelerating services, and improving passenger facilities.

By the end of 2020 the average age of the rolling stock fleet will be reduced by almost half. New trains will be introduced on the Windsor, Reading, and London suburban routes by December 2020. In addition to the fleet of 30 Desiro City EMUs currently being delivered by Siemens, the joint venture will order 750 new EMU cars, which will enter service from autumn 2019. FirstGroup says it is in advanced discussions with a number of manufacturers and funders, and further details of the order will be announced in the coming months.

Click here to read the full story.


Previous post:

Next post: