Arriva Group unit Chiltern Railways in the UK has secured a new national rail contract (NRC) from the Department for Transport (DfT) for the next six years.

As agreed, the British train operating firm will continue to make efforts to decarbonise and upgrade its fleet.

The NRC includes a definite core term of 3.25 years while the remaining term is subject to the Secretary of State’s discretion up to a maximum duration of six years.

This new deal will come into force on 31 December and continue until the end of 2027.

Through NRC, Chiltern Railways will continue to provide its current services between London and Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the West Midlands.

Meanwhile, the company will continue to scale up the trial of HybridFlex technology.

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By GlobalData

This technology transforms the existing trains to diesel-battery hybrid with zero emissions.

Chiltern Railways will develop a business case for changing all diesel trains to hybrid technology.

It will launch Delay Repay 15 for allowing commuters to claim reimbursement on late arrivals of the trains by 15 minutes or more.

The company plans to improve the train interiors as well as place new LED lighting and CCTV on numerous trains.

Furthermore, Chiltern Railways will stretch opening hours for the customer contact facility for offering better commuter experience throughout the week.

Chiltern Railways managing director Richard Allan said: “I’m delighted and proud that Chiltern Railways has agreed a new National Rail Contract with the Department for Transport (DfT) for the next six years.

“This gives certainty to customers and stakeholders and is a vote of confidence in our future and in the hard work of the Chiltern team which has made us one of the best performing train operators over many years.”

In July this year, Chiltern Railways introduced HybridFLEX, the country’s first battery-diesel train.