by Josephine Cordero Sapién
30 Mar 2020
United Kingdom: The Department for Transport has signed contracts with GWR and Southeastern so that important rail services across the South East, South West and South Wales can continue.
The government has signed new agreements with Govia and FirstGroup that will protect jobs during the coronavirus outbreak. The rail services will give those who can’t work from home a means to get to work and keep vital services running.
The Department for Transport says that these direct awards “will allow services to be stepped up when the rail network returns to normal following disruption from COVID-19.”
The improvements by GWR include introducing new capacity in both the Bristol and Exeter areas.
Southeastern passengers, meanwhile, will get more capacity during peak times and more front-line staff are to be recruited to help passengers with their journeys.
“We are taking decisive action across the board to ensure vital rail services continue, allowing those people who cannot work at home to get to work – particularly our NHS, emergency services and other vital industries.
“These contracts will keep services running in the short-term but also are positive news for passengers in the future, focusing on more reliable services, extra capacity and improvements to the stations they use every day.”
The DfT says these agreements will run alongside the emergency measures agreements announced previously, as a result of which the government will temporarily take on both the revenue and cost risk associated with individual franchises.
GWR, which is owned by FirstGroup, has been granted a direct contract with a runtime of three years. This is extendable to four years. Southeastern is owned by Govia. It too has been granted a direct contract. This one has a runtime for up to two years.
Renfe's Board of Directors has approved a contract for CAF to supply 29 four-car electric multiple units and 15 years of maintenance.
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A tunnelling milestone for HS2: the tunnel boring machine Dorothy has broken through on the second bore of the Long Itchington Wood tunnel.
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Metro de Málaga has inaugurated an extension of the Málaga Metro to connect the network with the city centre.
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TfL has released its annual budget, revealing that it can now fully cover operational costs and invest in new and improved services.
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Amtrak and PNRRA have released findings from a two-year study examining the potential to operate rail services between Scranton and New York.
Coventry Very Light Rail has completed construction on a new test site for its unique track system at Coventry City Council’s Whitley Depot.
The first CITYLINK tram-train for the South Wales Metro project has been delivered to Transport for Wales’ (TfW) new depot in Taff’s Well.
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CAF has been awarded two contracts to supply Urbos trams in Budapest, Hungary and Alcalá de Guadaíra in Seville, Spain.
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The Department for Transport has extended Avanti West Coast's contract for 6 months following the operator's improved performance.
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The Klang Valley MRT Putrajaya Line has officially opened to the public in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley region of Malaysia.
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The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has added the 100th new four-series light rail vehicle (LRV4) to its fleet.
Greater Manchester has announced a new devolution deal with the UK government to grant it more influence over regional rail services.
The US Surface Transportation Board (STB) has provided approval for the merger of Canadian Pacific (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS).
Hitachi Rail has been awarded a contract to deliver the digital signalling for Phase 2 of the Chennai Metro Rail Project in India.
Amtrak has announced plans to double capacity at its second-largest station, Washington Union Station, by 2026.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has commenced the rollout of its new R211 subway cars on New York's A line.
Alstom has celebrated the completion of its 1000th tram manufactured at its production facility in Vienna, Austria.
Amtrak and the Southern Rail Commission are applying for funding to study a new rail service between New York City, Georgia and Texas.
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Prime Minister of France, Élisabeth Borne presented a future plan for transport, prioritising a 100 billion EUR investment in the railway.
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