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Southern owner loses Midland rail franchise


The owner of embattled Southern Railway has lost a separate rail franchise in the West Midlands after 10 years.

Govia said it was “disappointed” after it missed out to West Midlands Trains, a joint venture between Dutch and Japanese companies.
The franchise covers regional routes as well as trains from London Euston to Crewe and Liverpool to Birmingham.
The Department for Transport said the decision would mean £1bn invested in services and that passengers would see new, longer trains, free Wi-Fi on all mainline services and compensation if services are delayed by more than 15 minutes.

Image: Govia owns the embattled Southern franchise
Since 2007, the London Midland franchise has been run by Govia, which is a joint venture between Go-Ahead and French firm Keolis.

Govia will continue to run the network until December. The new deal will run until 2026.
Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown said in that period it had “delivered significant improvements across the entire network”.
Last month, Govia was ordered to pay £13.4m for improvements after its poor performance caused months of delays on Southern.
Southern has been hit by prolonged industrial action though the Government said that this could full explain the poor service as commuters suffered cancellations and overcrowded shorter trains.

Source: Sky News