** On 23 March 2020, as a result of the Coronavirus Outbreak, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps utilised Section 118 of the Railways Act 1993 to suspend all current franchise agreements with private Train Operating Companies and replace them with new Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs), which will run for six months.
These EMAs apply to all franchises currently let by the Department for Transport, except for LNER and Northern, which are already in public ownership.
EMAs do not apply to:
• the ScotRail or the Caledonian Sleeper franchises let by the Scottish Government,
• the Transport for Wales Rail franchise let by the Welsh Government,
• the TfL Rail or London Overground contracts let by Transport for London, or
• the Merseyrail contract let by Merseytravel **
Read on for the original Franchise information…
Since August 2017, the South Western franchise has been operated by a joint venture between FirstGroup, a British private-sector transport company, and MTR Corporation, which runs Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway. The franchise includes most train services running to and from London Waterloo as well as services on the Isle of Wight. The franchise is intended to last for seven years. FirstGroup also operates the Great Western Railway and TransPennine Express franchises alone, as well as the Avanti West Coast franchise in partnership with Trenitalia, while MTR Corporation is the sole operator of the TfL Rail contract.
• Do you use the South West Trains service regularly?
• Do you believe it should be returned to public hands as part of a re-unified national rail network run for people not profit?
• Then, why not start a campaign building up to the franchise end?
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