News in London and beyond


Official: Southeastern franchise announcement delayed

Train at Woolwich Arsenal

The Rail Minister today confirmed what has long been suspected: the announcement of the future Southeastern franchise is delayed until early next year.

The news came in a Westminster Hall debate this afternoon.

Whilst this news affects the announcement it isn’t confirmed if the start date of a new franchise is delayed.

Greenwich station

The start date has already been delayed numerous times with short term extensions since 2012 resulting in minimal investment. The latest delay took new franchise commencement plans from November 2018 to April 2019.

Back in September news started to emerge of problems with all bidders. There’s only three – and all have issues.

One is incumbent Go-Via – also in charge of the recent Thameslink timetable fiasco. The next is Stagecoach – who handed back the east coast franchise earlier this year, and the final is Abellio, who operate Greater Anglia and have reportedly been in discussions with the Government after problems on that franchise.


  1. Selina

    Delayed – just like their bloody trains…

  2. Gabriel

    time to hand it all to Overground, with of course the Waterloo loops (and those to terminate at the likes of Hampdon Court etc) to TfL Rail (part of the coming Crossrail 2). But those 3 lines to Dartford and the metro loops in the SE should be as soon as possible handed to Overground. It is inner M25 = London authorities

    • Jimmy Jones

      Unfortunately Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, is putting party politics above the interests of London commuters, after letter showed he opposes devolution of suburban rail routes as it puts them “in the clutches of a Labour mayor”.

  3. Rog Laker

    Why am I not surprised? There’s a new Rail Minister who wants to find out what he’s letting himself, and the rest of us, in for!

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