Earlier in the year, First MTR (a joint venture between First Group and Hong Kong based MTR) were awarded the franchise to take over the running of railways for South Western Trains (SWR).
The new franchise will include a £1.2bn investment over seven years and passengers can expect to see a series of improvements, to include; 92 new Aventra trains and 52,000 overall seating capacity.
SWR also plan to invest £90m into improvements across its stations and to support local communities with greater connectivity.
Jeremy Long, CEO for European Business at MTR, is quoted as saying; “Together with FirstGroup we will bring this to bear for passengers in London and the south west, and help deliver a major programme of upgrades across the South Western network,” (RTM magazine, August 2017)
The franchise changing over also follows First MTR agreeing to fare caps on the London to Exeter line after the Competition and Markets Authority raised concern about a lack of competition on the route.