Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Train firm not split

THE company that operates train services on the Henley branch line will not be split up into smaller units.

Earlier this year, the Department for Transport consulted passengers on plans by Great Western Railway to take up an option to extend its contract on the line and Great Western main line until March 2020.

It also considered splitting the franchise into smaller operators for different areas, introducing more electric trains and reducing journey times across its network.

Now Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has told the Commons’ transport select committee that responses to the plans were “overwhelmingly” in favour of maintaining the current franchise.

The split would have created two franchises, one of which would have concentrated on Thames Valley services including the branch line as well as intercity routes between London and Bristol, South Wales and the Cotswolds and airport services.

GWR is still negotiating with the DfT for an additional two years on its contract up to 2022.

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