Transport bosses are promising to deliver major boosts to reliability, cleanliness and security when control of West Anglia train services within London are merged into the highly successful London Overground service next May.
Existing Overground contractor LOROL will take over the routes between Liverpool Street, Enfield Town, Cheshunt (via Seven Sisters) and Chingford on behalf of Transport for London.
Since being formed in 2007 with the take over of the failing Silverlink service, London Overground has become one of the UK’s top performing rail services and enjoys high levels of reliability and passenger satisfaction.
TfL has drawn up plans to run trains on the Romford – Upminster branch later into the evening and are negotiating with Network Rail to introduce a Sunday service on the route.
It’s also promising passengers “improved train service reliability” and to deploy additional on-train security staff “to deter anti social behaviour and criminality.”
Existing trains will be “refreshed” with the interiors repaired and cleaned and the exteriors revamped to reflect the London Overground brand.
A fleet of modern, high-spec trains featuring walk-though carriages, air-conditioning and CCTV will be introduced from 2018.
24 of the stations on the route will be transferred to TfL which will deploy an army of contractors to deep clean platforms and public areas and improve signage.
Passengers will also benefit from a visible staff presence from first train to last and Freedom Pass holders will be able to travel during the morning peak at no cost.
Oyster Pay As you Go users on some routes will also enjoy lower fares.
Commenting on the changes Jonathan Fox, TfL’s Director of Rail, told MayorWatch: “On taking over the current West Anglia routes on May 31 next year, we will immediately start a programme of deep cleaning and minor repairs, such as mending ripped upholstery, to the interior of the existing train fleet.
“We’ve not yet decided on the form of London Overground branding on the carriage exteriors but it will be simple, effective and value for money.”
One option could be to dress trains in the same low-cost ‘wrap’ previously used to brand Tubes and Overground trains in support of the annual poppy appeal.