The new agreements with Govia and FirstGroup will also ensure that jobs are protected during the coronavirus crisis.
In the longer-term, passengers will benefit from improvements including increased capacity at peak times, more front-line staff and more fare trials. The direct awards will allow services to be increased when the rail network returns to normal.
Major improvements to be delivered by Great Western Railway include the planned introduction of more capacity in the Bristol and Exeter areas.
Southeastern passengers will see space for thousands of extra passengers during the morning and evening peak times.
The deals announced will guarantee vital trains services through the coronavirus crisis, and improvements in the long term.
These agreements will run alongside the emergency measures announced last week, which will see the government temporarily take on revenue and cost risk associated with the franchises.
Great Western Railway has been awarded a direct award for 3 years, extendable to 4. Southeastern has been awarded a direct award for up to 2 years.
What did the officials say?
Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, said:
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.
These are unprecedented times and the rail network is central to our national resilience.
Get image downloads, Prints and Streaming Video
For the Latest Railway News
RailAdvent Online Shop
Framed Prints, DVD’s / Blu-Ray’s and more
Come and share your railway pictures
Mainline Steam Info
Upcoming mainline steam tours/loco movements