BARGAIN - South West Trains

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John Balmforth presents a comprehensive history of the TOC. The book outlines in detail the history of South West Trains including information on the expansion of the franchise to cover the Isle of Wight and the development of Stagecoach s rail operations through East Midlands Trains. Filling a huge gap, this title is the first ever title solely focused on South West Trains and its operations. When the area of the old Southern Region was broken up prior to Privatisation, three TOCs representing the old Eastern, Central and Western divisions were established. Of these, two of the new franchises passed to Connex led somewhat chequered careers since but the third, South West Trains was passed to Stagecoach. The franchising of South West Trains was one of the first to be approved following the controversial passage of the Railways act of 1993; ironically, the franchise area served Christchurch, the parliamentary seat of the late Robert Adley, one of the staunchest critics of the entire policy on the Conservative benches and the man who coined the phrase that rail privatisation was a poll tax on wheels. South West Trains assumed operation of the area in 1996 and is now one of a handful of TOCs to have retained its franchise throughout the period of privatisation, a position that has recently been reconfirmed as it successfully bid to retain the franchise. More recently, the South West Trains franchise has been expanded to include the single line on the Isle of Wight and Stagecoach s rail operations have been further boosted by the creation of East Midland Trains. The volume combines detailed descriptions of the history of South West Trains along with a selection of colour illustrations.
H/B Ian Allan
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