Vital train services across South West 'to continue to run' thanks to new Government contract

Vital train services across the South West will continue to run thanks to a new Government contract for rail operators Great Western Railway.

The new contract will ensure train services continue to connect the South of England and Wales during COVID-19.

Major improvements to be delivered by GWR include the planned introduction of additional new capacity in the Bristol and Exeter. Credit: ITV News West Country

The new agreements with FirstGroup, owners of Great Western Railway will also ensure that jobs are protected during the outbreak say the Department for Transport (DFT).

Long-term capacity improvements have also been agreed as part of the agreement. The DFT says tens of thousands of passengers are set to benefit from improvements in the long-term.

These include increased capacity at peak times, more front-line staff and more fares trials for passengers.

These agreements will run alongside the Emergency Measures Agreements which will see the Government temporarily take on the revenue and cost risk associated with individual franchises.