Chiltern Railways, part of the Arriva Group, has been awarded a new contract that includes commitments to continue working towards decarbonising and modernising its fleet and customer experience.
The new contract starts on Friday 31 December and runs until the end of 2027, with a guaranteed core term of 3.25 years (the remainder is subject to the discretion of the Secretary of State). The contract builds on Chiltern's track record of investing in trains and stations to attract millions more customers over its current 20 year franchise.
The new contract means Chiltern Railways will continue operating its existing services between London and Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the West Midlands, providing journeys for business and leisure customers and connecting cities and towns to support the region’s social and economic recovery.
The new contract provides certainty and a sustainable service for Chiltern’s customers, as well as a range of benefits to improve the experience of travelling and benefit the communities Chiltern Railways serve.
Chiltern has committed to delivering the following;
- To continue and expand the trials of HybridFlex technology which converts existing trains to diesel-battery hybrid with zero emissions whilst at stations
- To work on a business case for converting all diesel trains to hybrid technology
- To introduce Delay Repay 15 which means customers can make compensation claims when a train arrives 15 minutes or more late at its destination
- An improved onboard customer environment with new LED lighting and CCTV on the vast majority of trains and a plan for a light refresh of train interiors with the owners of the trains
- Extended opening hours for the customer contact centre to ensure we offer an enhanced customer experience 7 days a week
Richard Allan managing director of Chiltern Railways said, “I’m delighted and proud that Chiltern Railways has agreed a new National Rail Contract with the Department for Transport (DfT) for the next 6 years. This gives certainty to customers and stakeholders and is a vote of confidence in our future and in the hard work of the Chiltern team which has made us one of the best performing train operators over many years.”
“We are determined to modernise Chiltern Railways again and ensure we are fit to meet the challenges of the future. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers and attracting more customers to use the railway.”