I welcome the opportunity to show rail passengers what can be done when their interests are put first
Launching the new London Overground service, Mayor of London Ken Livingstone outlined the widespread improvements that will be delivered for passengers on the routes formerly operated by Silverlink Metro.
These will include over £1.4bn of investment, more staff, Oyster ticketing and refurbished and new stations improving safety for passengers.
London Overground passengers will benefit immediately through Oyster pay as you go ticketing and staff at every station at all times when services are operating.
Station improvements and new trains will follow, delivered as part of TfL's Investment Programme, with all stations cleaned and repaired by spring 2008 and refurbished with more Help points, CCTV, better lighting and customer information systems by the end of 2010.
A fleet of 44 new electric air-conditioned trains will be introduced on the network from late 2008. These will bring improved accessibility and capacity, and the latest security features.
London Overground services will also operate on the extended East London railway when it opens in 2010, following TfL's £1bn extension of the East London line.
The Mayor said: 'London Overground, giving Transport for London control of key parts of the overground rail services in the Capital, is the start of a radical revitalisation of London's rail services, which have suffered from decades of neglect and under-investment.
'Our aim is very simple, to raise standards to levels similar to the rest of the public transport system in London, with Oyster ticketing and stations staffed at all times while trains are running.
'Over the next few years, huge investment will bring more secure stations, new trains and a more frequent and reliable service.
'The new rail system will create 400 jobs over the next three years and with its connection to the East London line, radically improve public transport provision in some of the poorest boroughs in London.'
Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said: 'We're going to demonstrate a new way to run a railway, through tightly managed contracts to meet Transport for London's standards of quality, safety, staffing, frequency and ticketing.
'When complete, with the renewal and extension of the East London line due in 2010, the London Overground network will also play a key role in our transport for the London 2012 Olympics.'
TfL's Managing Director of London Rail, Ian Brown, whose team will manage the contract, said: 'I welcome the opportunity to show rail passengers what can be done when their interests are put first and I am proud to be part of the team which will make it happen.
'However, it will take time for our investment to deliver all of the improvements.
'This railway is suffering from decades of under-investment and bringing it up to Transport for London's high standards will take a lot of hard work from us as well as a little patience from passengers while we make up for that neglect.'
Notes to Editors