Tuesday, 05 July 2022

GWR given contract for three more years

GWR given contract for three more years

GREAT Western Railway will continue to run services on the Henley branch line after its franchise was extended by a minimum of three years.  

The Department for Transport announced on Tuesday that it had awarded the company a new contract to operate the Great Western network.

This will run to at least June 21, 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion.

GWR said it was committed to attracting people back to the railway by delivering improvements in customer experience, focusing investment on sustainable services and providing better value for money for customers and the taxpayer.

Since taking over the Great Western franchise in 2015, the company has seen customer satisfaction levels climb from 81 per cent to 91 per cent, which followed the introduction of its high-speed intercity express trains and the biggest timetable change in a generation in December 2019.

Managing director Mark Hopwood said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a National Rail contract by the Department for Transport, which is a sign of its confidence in GWR as a trusted operator and means we can continue to build on welcoming more people back to the railway.

“We look forward to working with our rail partners to develop services designed to meet changing customer needs and putting passengers at the heart of an updated, modern railway.”

Meanwhile, Network Rail is trying to keep as many routes open as possibleduring the national strikes organised by the RMT next Tuesday, Thursday and
Saturday.

Mr Hopwood said: “Network Rail has been working hard to cover signal boxes to keep as many routes open as possible on the strike days.

“This is not possible in all areas and there are some routes where rail services will not operate. In other areas a limited service will run but will start later and finish much earlier. There will also be a reduced service on the days between and after the strike.  

“Our dedicated web page has an overview of the timetable for each region and maps showing where services are operational, which we will keep updated throughout the week.  

“Network Rail is entering changes into the national timetable database and detailed changes to services will be available online.”

To view the timetable, visit www.gwr.com/strike

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