London Midland has signed a new contract to provide rail services on the West Coast Main Line, including through Northampton.
The contract, which extends the current agreement to October 2017, features £13 million worth of improvements and, in the next 18 months, free Wi-Fi on the vast majority of London Midland’s Northampton trains.
Other promised improvements are:
- new and upgraded ticket machines featuring contactless payment at selected stations.
- London Midland will have to meet new targets to improve train cleanliness, customer satisfaction and puntuality as well as install CCTV on cross-city Birmingham services, and equip station staff with tablets computers to improve the information given to customers.
- the company will have to provide 400 extra car parking spaces across three stations – Watford, Hemel Hempstead and Tamworth
- the operator will also be required to introduce smart ticketing on trains, building on the existing Swift smartcard scheme, to provide more convenient journeys.
London Midland managing director Patrick Verwer said: “This new franchise offers some very exciting opportunities and will bring benefits touching every element of our passengers’ journeys.
“It will enable us to continue delivering improvements for our customers and, as before, we remain committed to listening to our passengers and working with our stakeholders, communities and local elected representatives to make further improvements in the months ahead.”
London Midland’s franchise includes the London Euston - Northampton line, which calls at stops including Kings Langley, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Tring, Milton Keynes and Wolverton.
It also covers routes including the Marston Vale line, London Euston - Birmingham New Street, Birmingham New Street – Liverpool Lime Street, and the St Albans Branch Line.