GW ITT Published

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LNW-GW Joint

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The DfT has now published the ITT for the next GW 15-year franchise.
http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/great-western-franchise-2013/

Lots of detail to absorb (Crossrail, IEP, electrification, ETCS etc).
The bidders seem to have a free hand on rolling stock other than IEP.
The train service requirement is very similar to today, plus the obvious Crossrail and IEP changes.
Interestingly the Portsmouth-Cardiff service is shown split as "Bristol Radials" so there might be the possibility of an electric service Bristol-Cardiff (-Swansea?).
Fixed signals start being removed in 2021 (Bristol-Gloucester) as ETCS spreads.

Southampton-Poole (from 2017) and Banbury-Stratford are routes which can be operated in addition to current routes.
It says bidders may reconfigure services on long distance regional routes to give new through journey opportunites, within the frequencies specified.
 
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WatcherZero

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Yes surprised this isnt getting more attention! Will read through it at the weekend but a couple of interpretations:

New Great Western franchise to deliver new express trains
Publisher: Department for Transport
Published date: 27 July 2012
Type: Press release
Mode/topic: Rail

The new 15 year Great Western franchise will see passengers benefit from new express trains, additional capacity, smart card ticketing and passenger satisfaction targets as part of proposals being put forward today by Rail Minister Theresa Villiers.

The number of train services required by the new franchise will be based broadly on the current timetable, rather than the contracted minimum in the existing franchise. The popular Sleeper Service to Penzance will be retained. An extra early, fast train from London to Plymouth will be introduced. This will achieve aspirations for a ‘there and back in a day’ service to Plymouth from the capital.

Successful extra local services such as those on the Truro to Falmouth, Par to Newquay and the Severn Beach Lines, including those which are locally funded at present, are being added to the base specification of the franchise. This recognises the valuable work and track record of investment made by local stakeholders. Full responsibility for funding these local schemes is expected to pass to the Department for Transport from 2015, securing their future and freeing up local resources for other transport priorities.

Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said:


“Passengers using the Great Western Line will benefit from major infrastructure improvements and new rolling stock over the next few years, as a result of the Government’s ambitious programme of rail improvements, including extensive electrification.

“For the first time on the Great Western franchise, we will be introducing requirements on passenger satisfaction for the train operator to meet which will mean they have to focus strongly on the issues that matter the most to passengers. Extending smart card ticketing across the franchise will provide many more passengers across the West and South West with the kind of convenience Oyster has brought to Londoners. The Sleeper train is being retained, Plymouth gets the new early train from London they asked for and the future of popular extra local services such as the Severn Beach Line and Truro to Falmouth has been secured.

“This new franchise will see additional capacity delivered to benefit passengers. A more efficient and flexible franchise will encourage private sector investment, for example in improving stations and investing in rolling stock. It will promote greater efficiency and also enable the train operator to react to more effectively to changing passenger demands.”

The new franchise will run for 15 years from July 2013 to July 2028. It will require broadly the same number of trains to run between end-to-end destinations as is the case today, while giving the new operator greater flexibility with regard to timetabling and calling patterns and, in certain instances, use of connecting trains.

This flexibility will help ensure the line is used in the most efficient way for passengers and potentially allow faster journey times and improved services. It will also encourage private sector investment in the franchise, including stations.

A final decision has not yet been taken on the exact number of through services between Paddington and Penzance. The Invitation to Tender requires the continuation of 9 journey opportunities between London and Penzance each day (in addition to the Sleeper) with at least 6 being provided by through trains. After discussions with local MPs and Cornwall Council, the Government is asking the bidders to explore with stakeholders how rail services in Cornwall might be improved to ensure the right balance between long distance and regional services is achieved. The ITT therefore requires bidders to provide a price for additional through journeys above the minimum and also for a half hourly regional service on the Cornish main line. Decisions on whether these options are affordable and can go ahead will be taken prior to the new franchise being agreed.

A number of other options which could help to further improve local services have been included which potential operators are invited to consider and provide pricing for so that they can be taken forward if a value for money solution is provided and local funding is available.

Local services which are expected to move from local to national funding in 2015 include:


Bristol TM to Severn Beach (frequency increase) Bristol City Council
Bristol TM to Severn Beach (Sundays) South Gloucestershire Council
Truro – Falmouth (all week frequency increase) Cornwall Council
Exeter – Barnstaple (additional M-F and additional Sundays) Devon County Council

•9. Priced Options: The ITT asks bidders to price the following improvements to services:


1) Services to Cornwall
Continued operation of 9 through services. Provision of a half hourly, regular service between Plymouth and Penzance or Exeter, from May 2017 when cascaded rolling stock is anticipated to become available.
2) TransWilts Rail (Phase 1)
Additional weekday rail services and reinstatement of Sunday services from Salisbury to Swindon via Melksham
3) Riviera Line (Exeter to Paignton) strengthening
Introduction of an additional 1tph service on the Riviera line from Newton Abbot to Paignton
4) Heart of Wessex Line Service Optimisation
A much strengthened service on the Heart of Wessex line between Bristol and Weymouth
5) Bristol Metro Phase 1
An advanced scheme developed by the West of England Partnership. Phase 1 will provide a half hourly service in the Greater Bristol Metropolitan Area including re-opening of the rail line to Portishead to passenger services
6) Devon Metro
Devon Metro follows a similar concept to Bristol Metro for local services into Exeter, from Exmouth, Barnstaple, Newton Abbot and Paignton. It also proposes additional, new services on the SWT route to Axminster and to Okehampton
7) Cornish Branch Line service enhancements
St Ives Trains extended to Penzance. Additional summer, Monday-Saturday Looe Valley Services
8) Tavistock-Bere Alston re-opening
Re-opening of the rail line from Bere Alston to Tavistock

http://www.dft.gov.uk/news/press-releases/dft-press-20120727a

Great Western ITT reveals expansion plans
THE DELAYED Invitation to Tender for the next Great Western franchise has been published. However, the delay in the bidding process means that the existing FirstGroup contract must be extended to July next year, as Railnews reported earlier this month.

The new operator will be running Great Western during a critical period, which will see electrification from London to Swansea, Oxford, Newbury, Basingstoke and most of the Thames Valley branches completed in the period 2016-2018. Other infrastructure improvements include redoubling between Swindon and Kemble, which should be completed by 2014.

Most of the long-serving HST fleet will have been replaced by new InterCity Express trains, and the launch of Crossrail in 2017/2018 will also mean major changes in the London suburban area. The first section of HS2 should have opened between London and Birmingham before the franchise ends in 2028, although bidders are being told to disregard the implications of the new High Speed line when making their calculations and suggestions.

The GW network is also set to grow, because the ITT includes plans for reopening the line between Bere Alston and Tavistock, plus daily trains between Exeter and Okehampton and the restoration of passenger services between Bristol and Portishead as part of a new 'Bristol Metro'.

New, more frequent 'Metro' services are also likely in the Exeter area, serving such places as Barnstaple and Exmouth. Boosts are planned for the timetable between Exeter and Torbay, and also on the Looe Valley Line. Still in Cornwall, St Ives branch trains are to be routinely extended to and from Penzance.

The West of England sleeper service to Plymouth and Penzance is to be retained, and there will be a new early morning fast train from London to Plymouth.

A contentious proposal to reduce the number of daily through trains between London and Cornwall from nine to six is still not settled, however, in spite of strong protests over the past few weeks.

The Invitation to Tender requires the continuation of nine 'journey opportunities' between London and Penzance each day (in addition to the sleeper) but three of these could involve a change of train at Plymouth in future.

The DfT is known to be concerned that some HSTs with ample First Class seating and on-board catering are effectively becoming local trains west of Plymouth, but bidders are being asked to provide a price for additional through journeys above the minimum of six, as well as a half hourly regional service on the Cornish main line. Decisions on whether these options are affordable and can go ahead will be taken before the new franchise is awarded, said the DfT.

As part of this evaluation, the Government will ask the bidders to explore with stakeholders how rail services in Cornwall might be improved to ensure 'the right balance between long distance and regional services'.

Rail minister Theresa Villiers said: “Passengers using the Great Western Line will benefit from major infrastructure improvements and new rolling stock over the next few years, as a result of the Government’s ambitious programme of rail improvements, including extensive electrification.

“For the first time on the Great Western franchise, we will be introducing requirements on passenger satisfaction for the operator to meet which will mean they have to focus strongly on the issues that matter the most to passengers. Extending smart card ticketing across the franchise will provide many more passengers with the kind of convenience Oyster has brought to Londoners.

"This new franchise will see additional capacity delivered to benefit passengers. A more efficient and flexible franchise will encourage private sector investment, for example in improving stations and investing in rolling stock. It will promote greater efficiency and also enable the train operator to react to more effectively to changing passenger demands.”

The competitors for the franchise are FirstGroup, Arriva UK/Deutsche Bahn, National Express and Stagecoach.

The bidding deadline for the 15-year contract is now 25 October, and the winner should be announced in March.

http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2012/07/27-reassurance-for-cornwall-in-great.html
 

tbtc

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Interestingly the Portsmouth-Cardiff service is shown split as "Bristol Radials" so there might be the possibility of an electric service Bristol-Cardiff (-Swansea?)

It'd free up a few three coach 158s to do this, allowing the Portsmouth end of the service to be strengthened

Fixed signals start being removed in 2021 (Bristol-Gloucester) as ETCS spreads

The line is going to look strange without signals!

Yes surprised this isnt getting more attention!

They put it out on a day when it would be totally ignored by the media.
Talk about burying quite good news...

I think there have been so many other things to discuss recently (electrification plans, IEP order) and this isn't really "news" - the media are going to struggle to get much of a story out of "bidders for new franchise have the ability to suggest improvements".
 

WatcherZero

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It'd free up a few three coach 158s to do this, allowing the Portsmouth end of the service to be strengthened



The line is going to look strange without signals!





I think there have been so many other things to discuss recently (electrification plans, IEP order) and this isn't really "news" - the media are going to struggle to get much of a story out of "bidders for new franchise have the ability to suggest improvements".

I mean more the way people round here have been banging on about the GW ITT for weeks and what it may contain when it actually comes out no one bats an eyelid.
 

Mystic Force

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I am interested in the running more trains in the Exeter area. As a regular user of the avocet line on the past I was wondering how they could increase frequency. looking at the timetable the current journeys seem a little padded to what I remember. But not enough to add any extra trains so if this was going to happen then there would have to be an infrastructure upgrade at least an additional passing place somewhere or some double taking to get to 3tph
 

starrymarkb

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I am interested in the running more trains in the Exeter area. As a regular user of the avocet line on the past I was wondering how they could increase frequency. looking at the timetable the current journeys seem a little padded to what I remember. But not enough to add any extra trains so if this was going to happen then there would have to be an infrastructure upgrade at least an additional passing place somewhere or some double taking to get to 3tph

I think it was looked at double tracking Exmouth station as part of a new supermarket development. However the plans were blocked because the town thought an Asda Supermarket would ruin the estuary (last I heard they were trying to butter up Waitrose for a similar project so suspect they would rather an up market supermarket)
 

bignosemac

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I mean more the way people round here have been banging on about the GW ITT for weeks and what it may contain when it actually comes out no one bats an eyelid.

Give us a chance to read, digest an analyse the ITT please. the main document runs to 165 pages.

Then there's the 'Train Service Requirement' - the one I read first and jumped the gun a bit by commenting on another forum that minimum service level commitments remain broadly unchanged - having not read the 'Priced Options' in the main ITT document.

Then there's the 'attachments' covering everything from 'Stakeholder Briefing' to 'Declaration of conformity' by way of 'Delivery plan scoring matrix', whatever the flip they all mean!

Finally it's a rather nice Friday where folk might just be busy living their lives and enjoying themselves instead of wading through a shed-load of dry civil service documents. Oh and there's the start of some sporty stuff going down in East London....
 

tbtc

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I mean more the way people round here have been banging on about the GW ITT for weeks and what it may contain when it actually comes out no one bats an eyelid.

Ah, okay - I was more responding to LNW-GW Joint's comment about "media". Yeah, after all the excitement of the "electric spine" and IEP confirmation, this one seems to have slipped under the radar.

There's nothing in the ITT that I can really argue with - a half hourly regional service on the Cornish main line at the expense of three direct London trains sounds like a fair trade off. At the moment the long distance services take priority over local passengers.

Hopefully the fact that two of the four shortlisted bidders run adjacent franchises (Stagecoach's SWT and DB's ATW/XC franchises) will sink in and people will stop claiming that there are rules against this kind of thing...
 

Masboroughlad

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Okehampton to get services - that's good (wonder about the implications for DCR).

Tavistock is good news too!

Wonder of the bay platforms at St. Erth will be taken OOU if all trains are to become through services to Penzance?

More trains through cornwall definitely needed. When I have been on the 2-car regionals they have been rammed to the rafters. (Hope XC keep some thro trains to Penzance).

Anyone think this ITT will change bidders plans / Change in most likely winner?

Interesting reading and I too am very surprised this hasn't got more coverage....
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Ah, okay - I was more responding to LNW-GW Joint's comment about "media". Yeah, after all the excitement of the "electric spine" and IEP confirmation, this one seems to have slipped under the radar.

There's nothing in the ITT that I can really argue with - a half hourly regional service on the Cornish main line at the expense of three direct London trains sounds like a fair trade off. At the moment the long distance services take priority over local passengers.

Hopefully the fact that two of the four shortlisted bidders run adjacent franchises (Stagecoach's SWT and DB's ATW/XC franchises) will sink in and people will stop claiming that there are rules against this kind of thing...

There is actually quite a detailed section on possible competition issues in the ITT.
The DfT accepts that certain bidders might find themselves referred to the competition commission (and the EU), depending on their other commercial interests, and they are asked to weigh up for themselves if there is any likelihood of this and review with the competition authorities.
They might even be disqualified along the way if unresolved.
I don't think this is addressed specifically to any of the GW bidders, just an advance warning to clear any issues before submission.
And I agree with you that the rail element of the bid cannot be anti-competitive with another franchise.
 

fgwrich

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6) Devon Metro
Devon Metro follows a similar concept to Bristol Metro for local services into Exeter, from Exmouth, Barnstaple, Newton Abbot and Paignton. It also proposes additional, new services on the SWT route to Axminster and to Okehampton

Interesting, so could this be interprated in two ways, could this mean extra services such as a FGW operated or SWT operated service from Axminster to Okehampton, possibly using the WoE fleet if GW or SWTs 158s if SWT?
 

swt_passenger

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Interesting, so could this be interprated in two ways, could this mean extra services such as a FGW operated or SWT operated service from Axminster to Okehampton, possibly using the WoE fleet if GW or SWTs 158s if SWT?

Exeter - Axminster seems to be explained (in the priced options) as being an FGW service:

Monday – Saturday: operation of five additional trains per day, at a rate of one additional train every two hours, to supplement the current SWT service: achieving a total of three trains every two hours, in each direction between Exeter and Axminster calling all stations including a new station stop at Cranbrook, between 08.05 (Exeter Central to Honiton only) and 15.41. These services are to be in addition of those provided by SWT.

I believe that only 5 return trips per day is due to insufficient paths to operate every hour until there's another loop built (or extended).
 

The Ham

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The new GW ITT (news artical here):
http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2012/07/27-reassurance-for-cornwall-in-great.html

This artical talks about the following infrastructure improvements (on top of HLOS):
  • restoration of passenger services between Bristol and Portishead as part of a new 'Bristol Metro'
Reopening the line between Bere Alston and Tavistock

There is also talk of a "metro" service for Exeter. Although the number of direct services between Cornwall and London, although bidders are asked for "prices" for additional direct services as well as for a half hourly regional service along the cornish mainline.
 

anthony263

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Also includes the possibility of the Cardiff - Portsmouth Hbr services being split at Bristol so there is a possibility of a Swansea -Cardiff - Bristol TM service something I think would be a very good idea and would be popular. It would also allow some units to be released and then used to strengthen the Portsmouth services

Incudes a regular timetable of trains between Bristol & Weymouth which I think would be better than what the service is like at the moment.

Re-opening the Bristol - Portishead line is surely a must and I can see trains being a sucess from day one
 

Uzair

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Also includes the possibility of the Cardiff - Portsmouth Hbr services being split at Bristol so there is a possibility of a Swansea -Cardiff - Bristol TM service something I think would be a very good idea and would be popular. It would also allow some units to be released and then used to strengthen the Portsmouth services

I'm not very familiar with this area of the country, but what units would be released is the Portsmouth Harbour - CC was to be split at BTM?
 

Greenback

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I'm not very familiar with this area of the country, but what units would be released is the Portsmouth Harbour - CC was to be split at BTM?

The 158's currently running between Cardiff and Bristol could be replaced by EMU's (hopefully from Swansea). Bristol - Portsmouth/Weymouth services could be strengthened and improved using the extra units.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Another important morsel in the rolling stock section of the ITT (4.3.8.4):
Quote: It should be noted that Network Rail believes that vehicles capable of 110mph running are necessary to maximise the benefits of the overall infrastructure investments on the route.
Bidders should come to their own assessments of this view.


This looks like a green light to acquire new electric stock for GW (other than IEP).
None of the Thameslink/Crossrail-cascaded fleets has a 110mph capability.
And none of the post-privatisation fleets will be available.

I read this as meaning new electrics for the Thames Valley services, and also by implication that the whole Thameslink/Crossrail cascade can be focussed on Northern/Valleys services.
 

tbtc

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Another important morsel in the rolling stock section of the ITT (4.3.8.4):
Quote: It should be noted that Network Rail believes that vehicles capable of 110mph running are necessary to maximise the benefits of the overall infrastructure investments on the route.
Bidders should come to their own assessments of this view.


This looks like a green light to acquire new electric stock for GW (other than IEP).
None of the Thameslink/Crossrail-cascaded fleets has a 110mph capability.
And none of the post-privatisation fleets will be available.

I read this as meaning new electrics for the Thames Valley services, and also by implication that the whole Thameslink/Crossrail cascade can be focussed on Northern/Valleys services.

If the 100mph 350s can be allowed to run at 110mph (with suggestions of older stock like 365s doing the same) then presumably ex Thameslink/Crossrail stock like 319s could do 110?
 

Chris125

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If the 100mph 350s can be allowed to run at 110mph (with suggestions of older stock like 365s doing the same) then presumably ex Thameslink/Crossrail stock like 319s could do 110?

Wasnt it the consensus in a recent thread that the 365's arent suitable for 110mph? If so I'd be amazed if the 319's were. The need for 110mph pretty much confirms the need for new stock, and if commuter services through the Thames Valley cant justify the cost its hard to imagine where would!

Chris
 

anthony263

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I wouldnt be surprised if any new class 380's are ordered by scotrail that if First retain the GW franchise place an add on to the order for a fleet for routes around Reading.

Perhaps this could mean a return of the Bristol - Oxford service with a possible extension to Bedford
 

tbtc

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Wasnt it the consensus in a recent thread that the 365's arent suitable for 110mph? If so I'd be amazed if the 319's were. The need for 110mph pretty much confirms the need for new stock, and if commuter services through the Thames Valley cant justify the cost its hard to imagine where would!

Chris

I don't honestly remember consensus around 365 speeds (I remember the speculation, just not whether there was any agreement).

I'm not sure what Great Western services would need 110mph running apart from the ones which will get 125mph IEP (London to Oxford, Hereford, Cheltenham, Swansea, Bristol etc) or continue with HSTs (London to Devon/ Cornwall).
 

MCR247

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If the 100mph 350s can be allowed to run at 110mph (with suggestions of older stock like 365s doing the same) then presumably ex Thameslink/Crossrail stock like 319s could do 110?

I think 319s is pushing it....
 

The Planner

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Rumour is that the idea is to push the relief lines up to 110 between Reading and Didcot, though only XC would probably get that high as stoppers I wouldn't really expect to achieve it. Make your own assumptions from that of the routing of XC in the future. As I say, all speculation at the mo.
 

WatcherZero

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If the 100mph 350s can be allowed to run at 110mph (with suggestions of older stock like 365s doing the same) then presumably ex Thameslink/Crossrail stock like 319s could do 110?

Its more a unique case of the 350's being over engineered like the 185's of the same family.
 

swt_passenger

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Rumour is that the idea is to push the relief lines up to 110 between Reading and Didcot, though only XC would probably get that high as stoppers I wouldn't really expect to achieve it. Make your own assumptions from that of the routing of XC in the future. As I say, all speculation at the mo.

More than a rumour, the published ITT refers to the reliefs being 125 mph between Reading and Didcot:

The Department has asked Network Rail to deliver line speed improvements at the same time as electrification including 125mph on the slow lines between Reading and Didcot. Platform extensions to Paddington 11 and 12 may also be considered.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

I wouldnt be surprised if any new class 380's are ordered by scotrail that if First retain the GW franchise place an add on to the order for a fleet for routes around Reading.

Can't see that being possible under EU procurement rules, to be honest.

The TPE/LM 350 order will probably be cited as the exception, but supposedly that was OK'd because the TPE units are a small add on number thought to be headed to LM in the future anyway.
 
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