Monday, 16 February 2015

Shenfield Metro Service to be operated under the brand of TFL Rail

In one of TFL’s latest press releases titled ‘Crossrail – Moving to the Operating Railway’ they revealed the branding for the Shenfield branch which TFL is beginning operation on, on 31st May 2015.

This is not to be confused with the ‘London Rail’ brand which was used during the 2000’s. A few of their responsibilities were:
1)To develop a focused rail plan for London in conjunction with the SRA's national strategy.
2)To work with the Strategic Rail Authority and the rail industry to improve national rail services in London.
3)To progress major new rail projects.
4)To develop national rail's contribution to an integrated public transport system for London.

Now that we are in 2015, we are expecting to see a few changes over the coming months. The most interesting of these will be the handover of the Shenfield branch from Abellio Greater Anglia to TFL Rail.
In the board paper it mentions that they will deep clean stations, improve ticketing systems and refurbish the existing Class 315 rolling stock trains.
The Shenfield branch will also be included on the Tube Map and Journey Planner.

The fare system will change from National Rail to TFL’s Underground, Overground and Docklands Light Railway fares. For example, the existing Peak National Rail Pay as you go (Oyster and Contactless) fare from Romford (Zone 6) to London Liverpool Street (Zone 1) costs £6.00. The new Peak fare from TFL between Romford (Zone 6) to London Liverpool Street (Zone 1) will be £5.10,  which is only 90 pence cheaper. The fares are only going down by a fraction though so they'll be no major fare reductions to the Shenfield branch service.

The service is still part of National Rail because it’s part of ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies), the same goes for the London Overground which allows National Rail users to use the TFL rail services without using the London Underground.

Also, the board paper mentions that all stations will be staffed from first to last, which means there will be more security and services.

TFL also unveiled the roundel for TFL Rail

You might think that the service is fully operated by TFL, but in reality the service is contracted out to MTR Crossrail. 76% of MTR Corporation is owned by the Hong Kong Government, whilst the  remaining 24% is owned by shareholders.

MTR also operates London Overground services and their service company is called London Overground Rail Operations Limited. 50% of it is owned by Arriva UK Trains whilst the other 50% is owned by MTR Corporation.

Hopefully, by 2018 the service will be rebranded as 'Crossrail' and the service will have new rolling stock trains which are the Class 345. Then in late 2019 the service will be fully opened from Reading/Heathrow Airport to Shenfield/Abbey Wood.

So roll on May 31st 2015 when we are expecting some radical changes by TFL to be in place.

But anyway, I have filmed the Class 315 in action on the Shenfield Branch going from London Liverpool Street to Stratford station.

Also I forgot to mention that the Lea Valley Lines including the Seven Sisters Line and Chingford Line not to forget that the Romford to Upminster Line will be taken over by TFL operated by London Overground. The Pay as you Go fare structure will be changed from National Rail to TFL fare structure.

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The board paper

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