Looking back: what SWT achieved
Stagecoach ran the first privatised passenger service of the modern era: the 0510 from Twickenham on Sunday February 4 1996.
An aggressive cost-cutting programme meant it was initially known as the train company that made so many drivers redundant it did not have enough left to operate all its services.
Since then it has more than doubled passenger numbers to 230 million a year. It replaced slam-door trains with £1 billion worth of new rolling stock. A further £210 million of new trains follow this year.
Office of Rail and Road figures show it is the only part of the national network to make an outright contribution to the Treasury when all rail costs are included: 56p per passenger journey, or 2p per passenger km.
SWT regularly achieves among the highest levels of customer satisfaction of the London commuter operators. In the latest National Rail Passenger Survey, 83% of travellers were satisfied overall.
SWT also regularly wins awards for the most reliable rolling stock, both electric and diesel. The latest figures for February-March show service reliability of 99.4%.
However, punctuality has declined over the past year. Currently 86.6% of main line services arrive within five minutes of the scheduled time, slightly below the 89% required under its passenger charter.
A “Deep Alliance” with Network Rail, during which a shared management team operated both track and trains, was not seen as a success and fell apart in 2015 after three years.
In a letter to staff, Stagecoach Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “This was a franchise that we wanted to retain. We have delivered real improvements for our customers and I would like to thank you for your support and hard work in achieving this.”