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Protest held in guards row amid new SWT franchise

  • Watch the full report by Mike Pearse below
Credit: ITV Meridian

The RMT union has been protesting to keep guards on trains on the first full day of the new South West Trains franchise.

Members have been demonstrating at Waterloo station in a bid not to extend driver only operation to the service.

Credit: ITV Meridian

The new owners First Group, which already owns Great Western Railway, takes over the company at a time when August upgrade work is putting pressure on services.

As Mike Pearse reports.

Mike spoke to Mick Cash, General Secretary, RMT and Andy Mellors, Managing Director of South Western Railway and Owen Johns from Network Rail.

Goodbye Southwest trains - Hello South Western - Twitter responds

Credit: SWR

The last ever South West Train has left the station... it's all change to South Western Railways

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Track defect causing major disruption for rail passengers

Credit: PA

There is chaos for rail commuters this evening due to track defect near Micheldever.

Some South West Trains services have had to be diverted, others cancelled with replacement buses laid on for passengers.

The company warning passengers of "major disruption" with delays of up to an hour on some routes.

Southampton bound lines - from Micheldever - remain blocked.

Stranded passengers waiting for replacement buses at Basingstoke Station Credit: Marcus Adams

TRAVEL: TRAINS - HAMPSHIRE - Services suspended between Eastleigh and Basingstoke

Train services have been suspended on CrossCountry and South West Trains between Eastleigh and Basingstoke after an incident.

Trains are unable to run on any of the lines between the two stations.

CrossCountry tickets are being accepted on Chiltern and Great Western Railway services.

South West Trains tickets ares being accepted on CrossCountry and Great Western Railway services.

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South West Trains - tickets to go up 1.5% in 2017

Rail fares on South West Trains are to go up by an average of 1.5% in 2017. The operator says that the rise is below the July inflation rate of 1.9% that the Government uses to set regulated rail fares - and claims that passengers will see their fares going down in real terms.

South West Trains said it is using the money generated by the business not only to run the service day to day, but also to carry out works as part of the biggest investment in our railways since the Victorian era.

The firm highlighted its £50million investment in improvements including:

  • The introduction of 100 new Customer Ambassadors to provide a more personalised service at stations
  • The roll out of 91 interactive Video Ticket Machines linked to a new dedicated 24/7 customer contact centre
  • 1,400 extra car parking spaces at stations
  • 1,400 more cycle spaces at stations.

"We have worked hard to offer the best value travel for our customers. The changes in January will mean fares for South West Trains customers will on average reduce in real terms.

“As well as helping to fund the biggest national investment in the railways since Victorian times through increased payments to Government, the money from fares is also helping to drive many real improvements for customers across our network. This includes new trains and major work to improve journeys to and from London Waterloo.”

– Christian Roth, Managing Director, South West Trains
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