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Friday 11 July, 2003

Strategic Rail Auth

South West Trains contract

Strategic Rail Authority
11 July 2003

                                                                                                           11 July 2003
                                       Three Year South West Trains Deal Signed

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) today announced that it has signed a three-year franchise with incumbent Stagecoach
Group plc to operate South West Trains until 2007.

The deal is focused firmly on improving punctuality and the introduction of new trains to replace slam-door carriages.
  The signature seals an agreement announced in principle in November 2002, and secures:

•        Continued implementation of a detailed performance plan to improve punctuality and reliability.

•        Delivery into service of new Siemens Desiro carriages over the next two years to replace the existing 576 slam
door carriages.  The deal also underpins financing of the upgraded depots necessary for the new trains, including the
brand new Northam Depot.

•        Continued investment in CCTV at stations, an improved train cleaning regime and an accelerated station
repainting programme.

•        Overhaul and refurbishment of 'Class 455' metro carriages to improve reliability and passenger comfort.

•        The continuation of service improvements - some longer peak hour trains and improved Sunday and late night
frequencies - which were introduced following the SRA's extension of the SWT franchise to February 2004.

Richard Bowker, SRA Chairman, said:  'This franchise agreement focuses on delivering real improvements for passengers:
better reliability, new trains, refurbished trains and cleaner trains.  The very things we know passengers expect and
care about.'

Notes to Editors

1.      South West Trains operates services from London Waterloo to Woking, Basingstoke, Guildford, Southampton,
Weymouth, Portsmouth, Exeter and Reading, serving a mixture of long and short distance travellers, with a high
percentage of commuters.

2.      The new franchise will run from 1 February 2004 to 4 February 2007.  Stagecoach Group has operated the South
West Trains franchise since February 1996.

3.      As announced on 6 November 2002, and reflecting the SRA's policy focused on shorter franchise terms, elements
of the original 20-year franchise plan will not be taken forward during the three-year franchise.  This includes the
extension of suburban trains to 10 carriages, and major remodelling of Clapham Junction and Waterloo stations.

4.      The agreement provides for some platforms to be extended as necessary as part of the programme to replace
ageing 'Mark 1' slam-door trains with new, Desiro trains.

5.      The additional services confirmed in November 2002 are:

-        four additional weekday evening services from Waterloo to Southampton

-        three additional weekday evening services to Portsmouth

-        three additional weekday evening services from Waterloo to Dorking

-        one additional weekday evening service to Guildford via Cobham

-        Waterloo to Portsmouth Summer Sunday service frequency now applies all year.

6.      Subsidy payments for the franchise will be approximately £170m per year.

7.      A revenue share and profit share arrangement is in place as part of the deal.

For further details contact the SRA Press Office on 020 7654 6339/ 6387 /6234/ 6862

                         Or visit the website at

                      This information is provided by RNS
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