Rolling stock a concern for passengers
The quality and capacity of rolling stock emerged as a concern of passengers and stakeholders in their responses to the Department for Transport’s consultation into the next Great Western franchise. Passenger priorities were longer trains with more seats and space, and replacement or modernisation of older rolling stock.
Particular concern was raised by passengers in the West service group, which will retain ageing Sprinter diesel multiple units and High Speed Trains.
Passengers said this could provide lower reliability, comfort and onboard amenities.
In response, the DfT said it is likely to specify a requirement in the next franchise to develop options for the older fleet, and to develop a business case for “alternative solutions for these fleets.”
These options will include alternatives to diesel trains.
This view on August 17 of the site of the new £46 million depot extension at Exeter shows that clearance work has been completed ahead of construction. The depot will include servicing facilities and staff accommodation, and will be used to maintain Great Western Railway’s West of England diesel multiple unit fleet. Intercity Express Trains will also visit the site.