Connex South Central

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Connex South Central
Connexsouthcentrallogo.jpg
319013 at Clapham Junction.JPG
Overview
Franchise(s): Network SouthCentral
26 May 1996 - 25 August 2001
Main region(s): South
Other region(s): London, South East
National Rail abbreviation: CX
Parent company: Connex

Connex South Central[1] was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by Connex that operated the Network SouthCentral franchise from May 1996 until August 2001.

Services[edit]

Connex South Central ran passenger services from London Charing Cross, London Bridge and London Victoria to Beckenham Junction, Epsom Downs, East Grinstead, Uckfield, Caterham, Tattenham Corner, Horsham, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Brighton, Eastbourne and Ore.

It also ran services between Hastings & Ashford, Brighton & Hastings, Brighton, Newhaven Marine & Seaford and Brighton & Southampton as well as South London suburban services serving Crystal Palace, Sutton and West Croydon.

On 1 June 1997 Connex South Central introduced a new service from Gatwick Airport to Rugby via the West London and West Coast lines using Class 319s. In December 2000 it was curtailed to Watford Junction but extended southwards to Brighton.[2]

Rolling stock[edit]

Connex South Central inherited a fleet of Class 205, Class 207, Class 319, Class 411, Class 421, Class 423, Class 455 and Class 456s from British Rail. To operate the Connex Express service between London Victoria and Brighton, seven Class 319s were refurbished in 1997.[3] In 1998, all the Class 411 units were transferred to South West Trains.

Depots[edit]

Connex South Central's fleet was maintained at Brighton Lovers Walk and Selhurst depots.

Demise[edit]

The operator was criticised for poor customer service (on average 1 in 5 Connex trains were delayed) and for using old slam-door trains in the South of England, rather than spend any money on buying modern sliding-door rolling stock built to higher safety standards (though Connex ordered new trains for Connex South Eastern). This widespread disgust at filthy trains and widespread delays caused criticism of Connex, but it was poor financial management that ultimately caused Connex to lose the franchise.[4]

In March 2000 the Strategic Rail Authority announced its intention to relet the franchise. with Connex and Govia the shortlisted bidders.[5][6]

On 24 October 2000 the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority announced that Govia had been awarded the franchise and would operate it from 2003.[7] Govia negotiated a deal with Connex to buy out the remainder of its franchise with the transaction completed in August 2001.[8][9][10]

Connex also had the Network SouthEast franchise, Connex South Eastern - but just 2 years after losing the South Central franchise, the remaining franchise was terminated many years early, by the Government. This marked the complete failure of Connex as a train operator across 2 network rail areas.

See also[edit]

Topical imagery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3010919 Connex South Central Limited
  2. ^ Class 319 Kent Rail
  3. ^ Class 319 Southern E-Group
  4. ^ "Connex loses rail franchise", BBC News Online, London, 24 October 2000.
  5. ^ South Central Franchise Shadow Strategic Rail Authority Press Release 10 October 2000
  6. ^ Six Companies Shortlisted for First Franchise Replacement Round Shadow Strategic Rail Authority 14 March 2000
  7. ^ "Connex loses rail franchise", BBC News Online, London, 24 October 2000.
  8. ^ Acquisition of Connex South Central Limited by Govia Limited Go-Ahead Press Release 30 May 2001
  9. ^ Completion of Acquisition of South Central Franchise Go-Ahead Press Release 28 August 2001
  10. ^ South Central Limited Annual Accounts 29 June 2002


External Links[edit]

Preceded by
Network SouthCentral
As part of British Rail
Operator of South Central franchise
1996 - 2001
Succeeded by
Southern