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Trains from Exeter to Waterloo set to increase in franchise…


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Rail users travelling from Devon to London Waterloo can expect more seats and additional services as part of a £1.2investment plan.
The franchise for South Western Railway which includes the Exeter St Davids to Waterloo service passes to operator First MTR South Western Limited on August 20.
It has been run by South West Trains (Stagecoach) for 20 years.
The incoming managing director Andy Mellors said: “We are going to be building on the great foundations that Stagecoach has left us.”

The operators have promised a 6% increase in seating on its existing trains Class 158 and 159 trains that run on the Exeter to Waterloo line by December 2020.
It is also planning additional Sunday services and some earlier and later running trains, to be introduced for December 2018, which are subject to a consultation.
Mr Mellors said: “The fleet improvements and our new trains will add 52,000 seats across the morning and evening peaks into and out of London Waterloo.
“Our December 2018 timetable proposals will start to deliver the extra capacity and, in some cases, faster services, that our passengers and stakeholders have asked for.
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“We will be refurbishing rolling stock across the network and adding a wealth of features to make travel aboard our services a better experience for all customers. This includes the installation of free reliable Wi-Fi, charging points accessible from every seat, real time travel and information screens, and free infotainment.”
The operator has also committed to spending £90 million on station improvements as part of a £1.2 billion investment across the network.
Mr Mellors said that the most run down stations would be prioritised and no plans have been revealed for upgrades at any stations in Devon.
He said: “We will inherit a large portfolio of station properties when we take over on the 20 August, and plan to review their status to help inform how we spend this money to deliver the greatest passenger benefit.”

Source: Devon live