On Thursday 10th August 2017, Richard Harrington MP confirmed that a new and improved franchise has been awarded for the West Coast Main Line, which includes services to and from London Euston, as well as the Abbey Line.
Richard Harrington MP, who has been campaigning for a better train service, said:
“I’m absolutely delighted that we’re going to have a new franchise, after 7 years of campaigning! When I was re-elected this year, I promised the people of Watford that London Midland would go and so this a real victory.
In my meetings with Ministers at the Department for Transport, I have been demanding a much better deal for Watford residents and this new franchise represents just that.
The Department for Transport has confirmed that we'll see nearly £1bn invested to drastically improve services, including more frequent services on evenings and weekends, as well as upgraded trains.
Passengers will also get free Wi-Fi on all mainline services by the end of 2019, charging points on all London services, compensation if trains are delayed more than 15 minutes, and improved access for disabled passengers.
I’m also particularly pleased that we’ll get a brand new modern train on the Abbey Line and improvements to Sunday services. Passengers travelling between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction will also be able to pay with a smart card for the first time."