New rail operator will mean more comfortable trains
Plans have been unveiled to boost train capacity – with space for at least an extra 40,000 passengers per day on the Southeastern network.
The Department for Transport announced this week it will introduce longer, more comfortable trains and fast WiFi connectivity by 2022.
The region will also become the first in the country to have a new joint team running dayto-day operations for track and train to cut delays and improve performance.
But the next operator of the Southeastern franchise will be told to remove first-class accommodation on all services within 18 months of taking over, to increase space for all commuters.
The plans announced by rail minister Paul Maynard come as the competition for the next company to run the franchise was launched yesterday (Wednesday).
Under the plans, the network will be the first in the country where a single director is responsible for a joint team, made up of the train operator and Network Rail, that operates the trains and the tracks and is accountable for the performance of the network.
Bidders will need to show how they can deliver extra services and more space for passengers on services across the region, as well as providing greater connectivity, smarter ticketing systems and improved compensation.
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, Unit 4, Park Mall Shopping Centre Ashford, TN24 8RY or email kentishexpress@ thekmgroup.co.uk
The Department for Transport has announced its requirements for the future of the county’s trains