TfL to take over London’s suburban rail services

21 Jan 16

Transport for London is set to take over rail services in the capital from four private sector franchise operators under a plan agreed with government ministers.

The Greater London Authority’s transport agency has agreed a deal to take control of rail services that operate “mostly or wholly” within the boundary of the Greater London Authority when existing franchises come up for renewal. The first rail franchise up for renewal is South West in 2017, followed by Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern in 2021.

Under an earlier arrangement, TfL Rail took over services from London Liverpool Street to Enfield Town, Cheshunt and Chingford last May. The new deal with the Department for Transport mean TfL’s London Overground network, which also includes services taken over from Silverlink in 2007, will expand to include suburban rail services from London Bridge, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Moorgate, Victoria and Waterloo.

London mayor Boris Johnson said the railways were vital to the capital’s future prosperity.
“By working closely together and taking on these new services, we’re going to emulate the success of the London Overground and give the entire capital and surrounding areas the services they truly deserve,” he added.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the plans, which were today published for consultation, would put passengers at the heart of the network.

The new arrangements would ensure that transport infrastructure decisions are made by those who know the needs of the region best, he stated.

“We are working closely with TfL to agree the best way of delivering integrated, seamless journeys for passengers both inside and outside of London, and as we continue these discussions, we want to hear people’s views.”

Under the plans, a London suburban metro service would be created with the potential for more than 80% of stations to have a train every 15 minutes, up from 67% today.

The government said the development of London Overground network, which also included conversion of the old East London underground line, had shown what could be achieved by giving greater focus to suburban services, with customers benefiting from more frequent services.

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