Great Western Railway has been awarded a three-year National Rail Contract with a potential three-year extension.
The initial deal will run until at least 21 June 2025 and succeeds the direct award contracts awarded by the Department for Transport from September 2015.
A smartcard for the Bristol area is due to go live later this year, and GWR is working with Transport for Wales to provide a similar scheme for South Wales.
The interior refit programme of the Class 165/166 fleets will continue, and more than £1 million will be spent on improving accessibility, including a new ramp at Castle Cary and minor works including installation of power assisted doors, tactile paving and handrails at stations.
A review of the company’s diesel fleet is promised, while a ‘fleet strategy plan’ is intended to cut the costs of running a mixed fleet and replace diesel-only trains with what the DfT calls ‘greener trains’, possibly including battery-only units.