08 November 2016
Alliance Rail Holdings (Alliance) has started consultation within the rail industry on starting a new ‘open access’ rail service between Southampton and London Waterloo to begin in December 2017. There will be 7 off-peak services a day, calling at Eastleigh, Winchester, Basingstoke and Hook, with 2 peak services introduced a year later in December 2018. Following consultation the application will then be determined by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
Alliance will initially use Class 442 trains, with peak trains offering 600 seats on each service, with both Standard and First class accommodation provided. It is recognised that there are severe overcrowding problems on this route in the peak, and the provision of these extra services will help address the problem.
In its recent decision (May 2016) to approve new competitive services on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) the ORR has recognised the benefits that further competition will bring, and Alliance believes the introduction of competition for the first time on this important route will enhance rails attractiveness, and offer passengers many of the benefits enjoyed for some time by users of the ECML.