Southeastern will continue to operate trains across London and Kent until 2018, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.
The Go-Ahead/Keolis joint venture has won a direct award contract from the DfT – the seventh direct award agreement to be issued since the publication of the new franchising calendar.
Southeastern has been set a series of new operational targets to deliver in the next three-and-a-half years, including the introduction of a new ‘coastal loop’ high-speed rail service.
The contract will also create additional jobs and see Oyster rolled out to more stations.
The new South East franchise runs from October 12, 2014, to June 24, 2018.
David Brown, Go-Ahead chief executive said: “We’re pleased that the government has put its confidence in Southeastern to deliver further enhancements for passengers.
“The plans to be delivered offer benefits for passengers, taxpayers and the communities that we serve.
“Today’s announcement is an endorsement of our record of delivering improving train services, record investment in the route network, better customer service and strong passenger growth over the last eight years.”