Welcome to Three Rivers Rail website!

Welcome to the website of the Three Rivers Rail Partnership, a group of local authorities, local people and the rail industry. Working to promote our train and local bus services, and doing what we can to improve our stations and services.

Why Three Rivers? The rail routes which the partnership covers run alongside, or cross the Avon, Itchen and Test rivers – hence ‘Three Rivers’.

Things are looking good for rail travel in the area: We now have a direct train to Salisbury from Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh, Southampton Airport and much of the Southampton suburban area. This also improves the service to Dean and Mottisfont Dunbridge and increases the number of trains between Southampton, Romsey and Salisbury, and increases to at least two every hour – Dean and Mottisfont & Dunbridge now have an hourly train service Mondays to Saturdays.

On this website you will find information about trains calling at Salisbury, Dean, Mottisfont & Dunbridge, Redbridge, Millbrook, Southampton, St Denys, Swaythling, Southampton Airport, Eastleigh, Shawford, Winchester & Chandler’s Ford. As well as Bursledon, Hamble, Netley, Sholing, Woolston and Bitterne. There’s also station information and ideas for places you can visit within easy reach of the train: Ancient churches, a stately home, shopping, theatre, cinema, live music, restaurants, pubs, even a Tudor garden and tea room.

Our activities incorporate the Department for Transport’s Community Rail Development Strategy’s 4 pillars:

  1. Providing a voice for the community
  2. Promoting sustainable, healthy and accessible travel
  3. Bringing communities together and supporting diversity and inclusion
  4. Supporting social and economic development

The full strategy can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-rail-development-strategy

If you would like to help us – if you live near one of these stations and can be a volunteer on a station adoption scheme, or if you just want to join in our activities please do get in touch.

Many thanks

Mark Miller

Latest information from SWR

I write to provide you with an update on our performance and recent activity.

The last few months have been an extraordinary time for the rail industry, as we have adapted to changing circumstances to provide a reliable service for our customers throughout the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. I am immensely proud of the commitment and dedication that SWR and the industry has shown to keeping other key workers moving.

As the Government eases some lockdown restrictions across England, we are working to ensure that we continue to operate in a way which puts the safety of customers and our colleagues first.

Social distancing

Earlier this month, it became mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport in England, with a small number of exemptions.

To lead by example, we have asked all staff in customer-facing roles to wear a face covering wherever possible on our stations and when working on board our trains. Alongside this, we have used all possible communication channels to inform our customers to comply with the law, including clear signage and announcements.

We are pleased to report that compliance on our network has been extremely positive, with our most recent estimates placing the proportion of our customers wearing a covering at 90 to 95 per cent. When exemptions permitted by the law, such as people with hidden illnesses and disabilities, are taken into account, this indicates a very high level of compliance.

Our communications campaign around face coverings followed the successful implementation of a series of social distancing measures at our stations and on our services over the last few months, including distancing guidance on all trains and at our stations, as well as more focused and enhanced cleaning regimes.

Performance

I promised when I joined SWR six months ago that I would focus on improving performance across the network.

Of course, we recognise that with fewer people travelling, and fewer services operating, delays are less likely to build up when an incident occurs. Importantly, however, the number of trains reaching their final destination within five minutes of their scheduled arrival time has risen from 74.3 per cent in the week beginning 12 January to 96.7 per cent at the end of May.

Our challenge going forward is to maintain this performance as we increase the number of services we run. With our customers’ work and travel patterns expected to change we are looking at ways in which we can continue to run a more reliable, service every day, throughout the day.

In partnership with Network Rail, major engineering works have continued during the lockdown, such as in Guildford at Easter, which improved signalling, installed new track and most importantly removed several speed restrictions which were adding four minutes to every journey on the Portsmouth to Waterloo route.

Further engineering works near Yeovil saw another speed restriction, which had been in place since a major landslip, removed and improved the reliability of our service for our passengers

As we anticipate an increase in customers over the coming weeks, caused by the easing of lockdown restrictions, we continue to work together to maintain these improvements in the future. The next timetable change is due on 6 July, whereby services will be uplifted from 69 per cent to 86 per cent of our pre-COVID-19 timetable.

Refunds

At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, a significant number of customers took the decision to cancel their season tickets with us.

Over the three months since mid-March, we received more than 36,000 refund requests. By way of comparison, in the 12 months prior, we received around 24,000.

Processing these refund requests has been a major challenge, especially with a reduced workforce due to social distancing. I am pleased to report that we have processed 100 per cent of all refunds requested throughout this period.

We are confident that, as any further refund requests come in over the coming months, we will be able to process them swiftly for our customers.

The SWR leadership team and I are very aware that there remains work to do to deliver the improvements to our service that our customers need and want to see, and to keep them safe as lockdown restrictions are eased and the economy reopens.

I hope, however, the improvements in performance we are now seeing and the continued support from our owning groups, FirstGroup and MTR, demonstrate that the plans we are implementing can make a real difference for passengers over the short and longer-term.

Yours sincerely,


Mark Hopwood
Managing Director
South Western Railway
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