THE DEPARTMENT for Transport says bidders for the next South Eastern franchise will be required to provide space for at least 40,000 additional passengers in the morning rush hour, with 12-car services on the busiest routes. Metro-style trains will be introduced on suburban routes, similar to those on other high capacity routes into London.
The franchise will begin in April 2019 and run for eight years, with an option for a one-year extension. Three companies are bidding to operate the franchise – a joint venture between Abellio, East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui, a joint venture between Go-Ahead and Keolis, and Stagecoach. Trenitalia had been shortlisted to bid for the franchise but pulled out of the competition in August.