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14 April 2016, 13:14
The people behind the Watford to Euston train service are changing hands in November and aim to increase the number of trains.
Transport for London (TfL) says they've now signed a contract with Arriva Rail London Ltd to be the new London Overground operator and aims to increase the number of services from 3 to 4 trains per hour.
The £1.5 billion contract will cover seven and a half years with an option to extend for up to two additional years.
Arriva will take over from existing operator LOROL in November 2016, and will support TfL in delivering further improvements for customers on the already hugely popular network. These will include modernised stations and more frequent services, the first of which will be on the North London line. New trains will also be introduced in 2018, transforming journeys on London Overground routes out of Liverpool Street and on the Gospel Oak to Barking line.
Under the new concession, customers on some routes will benefit from extended operating hours, and new services will be introduced on some routes on Boxing Day.
Arriva will also be expected to deliver sustained improvements in performance levels, which have improved hugely since TfL took responsibility for London Overground routes in 2007. To support this, new incentives have been incorporated into the new contract including financially penalising Arriva should incidents caused by Network Rail, train and freight operators impact on London Overground services.
Along with the tightening of the rail industry standard measurement for punctuality for commuter services to three minutes within the scheduled arrival time. These measures are being implemented to encourage closer working with Network Rail and Bombardier, who build and maintain the London Overground trains, to continue to improve reliability and provide high quality services for customers.
Gareth Powell, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, London Rail, said:
"We look forward to working with Arriva to bring about further improvements to the London Overground network including extending operating hours, improving frequencies and introducing new trains. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the existing operator LOROL for their work that has helped make London Overground the huge success story it is today."
Chris Burchell, Managing Director of Arriva’s UK trains division, said:
"We have been proud to play our part in the London Overground success story so far and look forward to working closely with Transport for London to improve services further, introduce more new trains and deliver a further step-change in customer service quality. London Overground is one of the capital’s success stories and from November our role is to ensure this success continues and customer satisfaction levels remain high – helped by 1,400 employees who understand the network inside out."
Arriva will operate all London Overground routes, including those that TfL took over last year from Liverpool Street station to Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford, as well as services between Romford and Upminster.
TfL is proposing to extend the London Overground to Barking Riverside as part of its work to create better rail services to accommodate a rapidly growing population and to support new jobs, homes and economic growth. Subject to consents the extension could see train services commencing in 2021.
The transformation of London Overground has seen passenger numbers rise by 400 per cent since 2007 and the network has become one of the most reliable in the UK.