Train operator will hold on to franchise for five more years

SOUTHEASTERN will continue to run train services between Hastings and London until 2018.

On Tuesday the Department for Transport announced the rail operator will hold on to its franchise for another five years.

Southeastern is responsible for running services between Hastings and London Charing Cross and Cannon Street. The line includes Battle, Crowhurst, Robertsbridge and Etchingham stations.

The contract was due to end in April 2014, but the franchise programmes have been changed in response to last year’s collapse of the West Coast competition.

Patrick McLoughlin MP, the Secretary of State for Transport, said: “The new programme will provide long-term certainty to the market and support the delivery of the government’s £9.4 billion rail investment strategy for 2014 to 2019.

“The future competitions will also place passengers in the driving seat by ensuring that their views and satisfaction levels are taken into account when deciding which companies run our railway services.”