FGW may get rail franchise again

Witney Gazette: FGW may get rail franchise again FGW may get rail franchise again

THE Great Western franchise may be directly awarded to train operator First Great Western (FGW) for another five years, from 2015 to 2020, without a tendering process, officials have said.

The Department for Transport had previously suggested a full franchising competition could be held to select an operator to run services for up to 10 years.

But it has now said it is considering awarding FGW a contract running for five years from September 2015, while major modernisation of the Great Western main line is completed.

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8:19am Fri 21 Mar 14

King Joke says...

It's largely irrelevant for Oxford residents, who will be abandoning FGW for Chiltern come 2016, but very unfortunate for others who don't have the choice.

Latest on the rumour mill is that the 170s coming down from Trans Pennine will be refurbed with power sockets and more tables, and dedicated to the Oxford service :-)
It's largely irrelevant for Oxford residents, who will be abandoning FGW for Chiltern come 2016, but very unfortunate for others who don't have the choice. Latest on the rumour mill is that the 170s coming down from Trans Pennine will be refurbed with power sockets and more tables, and dedicated to the Oxford service :-) King Joke
  • Score: -2

12:41pm Fri 21 Mar 14

thamestrains says...

So because Chiltern railways will be running some services from Oxford in the future that's going to be the cure to all railway evils is it,i fear not,it will just offer a different options,Utopia on the railways does not exist !.
So because Chiltern railways will be running some services from Oxford in the future that's going to be the cure to all railway evils is it,i fear not,it will just offer a different options,Utopia on the railways does not exist !. thamestrains
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Fri 21 Mar 14

King Joke says...

Your user name does rather give away your loyalties Thames Trains!

Certainly Chiltern are not immune to the railway evils of engineering work, flooding, suicides and signal failures. They are however pretty punctual as they have fewer complex junctions and freight movements on their route.

Their passenger environment however is streets ahead. If I pay £29 for an OPDR with Travelcard, there are some basic comforts I'd like, none I've which I get on one of your bloody dog-box 165 units.

What if I've got a laptop? What if I've got a sandwich? What if I've got a cup of coffee? Now here's the revolutionary bit - what if I have all three? I have to balance them on my knees or on adjacent seats.

Now what if I need the loo? If the solitary thundermug on a 165 is out of action I'll just have to cross my legs.

What if I need to concentrate on work? On a hot day with the unit windows open this is impossible given the wind roar and engine noise at 90 mph.

Yes I know there are occasional cameo apperances by 180s and 166s but the mainstay of the fast PAD OXF service is the 165, a wholly unsuitable product.

Once Chiltern are in town I doubt I will ever use FGW again. It will be interesting to see what an abortion you make of fitting out the electric units when you finally get them.
Your user name does rather give away your loyalties Thames Trains! Certainly Chiltern are not immune to the railway evils of engineering work, flooding, suicides and signal failures. They are however pretty punctual as they have fewer complex junctions and freight movements on their route. Their passenger environment however is streets ahead. If I pay £29 for an OPDR with Travelcard, there are some basic comforts I'd like, none I've which I get on one of your bloody dog-box 165 units. What if I've got a laptop? What if I've got a sandwich? What if I've got a cup of coffee? Now here's the revolutionary bit - what if I have all three? I have to balance them on my knees or on adjacent seats. Now what if I need the loo? If the solitary thundermug on a 165 is out of action I'll just have to cross my legs. What if I need to concentrate on work? On a hot day with the unit windows open this is impossible given the wind roar and engine noise at 90 mph. Yes I know there are occasional cameo apperances by 180s and 166s but the mainstay of the fast PAD OXF service is the 165, a wholly unsuitable product. Once Chiltern are in town I doubt I will ever use FGW again. It will be interesting to see what an abortion you make of fitting out the electric units when you finally get them. King Joke
  • Score: -1

1:16pm Fri 21 Mar 14

thamestrains says...

Loyalty to thames trains, I fear not, its just a nickname as I started commuting to London when the company who ran the service used that name !
Loyalty to thames trains, I fear not, its just a nickname as I started commuting to London when the company who ran the service used that name ! thamestrains
  • Score: 0

11:57pm Fri 21 Mar 14

jimm says...

King Joke or just a joke?

Chiltern bloody well ought to be punctual with their own private railway south of Aynho, with lots of modern infrastructure, unlike the GW main line, which has lots of old infrastructure, that is only now being renewed, on what is fast becoming a linear building site for miles across southern England, with FGW trains mixed in with all manner of other services, passenger and freight.

Think you'll find much the same problems that so exercise you should you happen to get on board one of Chiltern's 165s, rather than a 168 or loco-powered train.

And as for the assertion that the Class 165 is "the mainstay of the fast PAD OXF service", I suggest you get your head out of wherever you have stuck it. There are currently 23 fast trains each weekday from Oxford to London that are operated either by an HST or a class 180, out of 39 or so. Things are much the same in the other direction. Throw in some 166s, and the number of 165s on the fasts is very small indeed. But don't let the facts get in the way, will you?
King Joke or just a joke? Chiltern bloody well ought to be punctual with their own private railway south of Aynho, with lots of modern infrastructure, unlike the GW main line, which has lots of old infrastructure, that is only now being renewed, on what is fast becoming a linear building site for miles across southern England, with FGW trains mixed in with all manner of other services, passenger and freight. Think you'll find much the same problems that so exercise you should you happen to get on board one of Chiltern's 165s, rather than a 168 or loco-powered train. And as for the assertion that the Class 165 is "the mainstay of the fast PAD OXF service", I suggest you get your head out of wherever you have stuck it. There are currently 23 fast trains each weekday from Oxford to London that are operated either by an HST or a class 180, out of 39 or so. Things are much the same in the other direction. Throw in some 166s, and the number of 165s on the fasts is very small indeed. But don't let the facts get in the way, will you? jimm
  • Score: 1

8:47am Mon 24 Mar 14

King Joke says...

Jimm, I agree FGW have a sh't sandwich to deal with in terms of the obstructions they face from other TOCs, freight and ongoing upgrades. In this I sympathise.

In terms of the product offered, I am an off-peak passenger, largely at weekends, so the HST-dominated weekday commuting peak is of little interest to me. I can only speak from experience, and my experience is very often that weekday mid-day and late evening services, and weekend services, are very often 165s. £29 (or £27 for the return to PAD if you like) is not an insignificant amount of money and I expect better than 'metro' levels of accommodation in return.

As for Chiltern 165s, these are for local services, and at any rate are far better appointed than the FGW rubbish. Have you been on one? They have air-con, coffee perches and some small tables, and some areas of 2+2 seating. When you next pull your head out of your hole you will notice that other (some) TOCs think about their customers.

I will reiterate: the Oxford service will be operated by the nine 170s coming down from TPEx. On a fag-packet calculation you could run the service with six or seven units (180 min round trip on 30 min headway), so I imagine we'll get 'our' units most of the time.
Jimm, I agree FGW have a sh't sandwich to deal with in terms of the obstructions they face from other TOCs, freight and ongoing upgrades. In this I sympathise. In terms of the product offered, I am an off-peak passenger, largely at weekends, so the HST-dominated weekday commuting peak is of little interest to me. I can only speak from experience, and my experience is very often that weekday mid-day and late evening services, and weekend services, are very often 165s. £29 (or £27 for the return to PAD if you like) is not an insignificant amount of money and I expect better than 'metro' levels of accommodation in return. As for Chiltern 165s, these are for local services, and at any rate are far better appointed than the FGW rubbish. Have you been on one? They have air-con, coffee perches and some small tables, and some areas of 2+2 seating. When you next pull your head out of your hole you will notice that other (some) TOCs think about their customers. I will reiterate: the Oxford service will be operated by the nine 170s coming down from TPEx. On a fag-packet calculation you could run the service with six or seven units (180 min round trip on 30 min headway), so I imagine we'll get 'our' units most of the time. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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