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27 Jun 2023

Arriva secures contract extension with Transport for London for the London Overground

Arriva secures contract extension with Transport for London for the London Overground: UK Trains, ARL

  • Arriva Rail London set to operate London Overground trains for another two years.
  • Transport for London recognises Arriva Rail London’s role as a critical delivery partner, working in “close collaboration”.
  • Contract will see Arriva Rail London continuing to respond to the evolving needs of the Capital.

Arriva Group’s train operating company, Arriva Rail London (ARL) has been granted a two-year extension as the delivery partner for the London Overground concession, which is operated with Transport for London.

Arriva has operated the London Overground network since November 2016 and following the contract extension, is expected to do so up to May 2026.  The announcement today brings continuity for 430,000 passengers who use ARL’s trains every day and builds on Arriva’s record of delivering improvements for London Overground customers, working in partnership with TfL to provide more frequent services, new trains and improved interchanges.

The contract extension is also good news for ARL’s 1,500 employees who serve Londoners and see themselves as part of the community.

ARL successfully supported TfL during Covid and London Overground has now recovered to 88% of pre-pandemic passenger journeys. During the term of ARL’s contract, the operator has also implemented a number of service improvements, such as the extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside route and the introduction of four-car trains, which doubled the line’s capacity.

David Brown, Managing Director of Arriva UK Trains, commented: “We are incredibly proud of our performance record and of our relationship as a critical delivery partner to Transport for London.  We play a significant role in London life, connecting communities and being part of one of the most mature, sophisticated and inter-connected transport networks in the world.  With this contract extension we can continue to work in close partnership and deliver innovative and cost-efficient solutions to keep the capital city moving”.

Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager for London Overground, said: I am very proud of everything we have achieved at London Overground but that would not be possible without the close collaboration with Arriva Rail London. There has been a great deal of change, not only at London Overground but in the rail industry, since the pandemic but ARL, supported by TfL, has risen to the challenge as we adapt to changing customer travelling habits. We continue to welcome growing numbers of customers back and with the help of ARL will build on that success.”

Arriva Rail London operates under the ‘concession model’ which means that TfL takes revenue risk, while the operating company receives a fixed payment with adjustments made according to performance.

Arriva Group has extensive operating experience across a number of different types of rail operating models through its UK Trains division which includes Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Grand Central and Arriva Rail London.  It is the only owning group to have experience with all contract types currently in use on Britain’s railway, including national rail contracts, a concessionary contract, an Open Access company under the Grand Central brand, and a rail maintenance business, Arriva Traincare.

The new contract comes into effect in May 2024 and will see ARL building on its track record of maintaining some of the highest levels of performance in the country as TfL’s delivery partner, while increasing its passenger numbers.  London Overground was one of the first networks to restore services to 100% following Covid-19.  It has also received the lowest level of customer complaints of any train operating company over the past two years.

Notes to editors:

  • Arriva Rail London (ARL) has been granted a two-year extension subject to the signing of a contract deed of amendment. This is expected to be complete by the end of July 2023. 
  • The two-year extension to 3 May 2026 includes a TfL break option in May 2025, to be called by 31st August 2023.
  • Since being awarded the TfL concession in 2016, ARL has delivered a number of high-profile initiatives in partnership with TfL, the most notable of which include:

- 2022: Barking Riverside station opens, adding 4.5km of railway to the Gospel Oak to Barking line and marking the  first extension to the London Overground network since 2015.

- 2021: Roll out of 129 upgraded customer information screens at 35 stations, including the busyness indicator technology, helping passengers to work out where to stand on the platform.

- 2019: The revamped White Hart Lane station, providing better connections to nearby Tottenham High Road and the brand-new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

- 2018: Full electrification of the Gospel Oak to Barking line, including the introduction of new Class 710 Aventra electric trains in 2019, adding 50 per cent extra capacity with air-conditioned walk-through carriages, USB charging and real-time customer information screens.

- 2017: Night Overground launches.

About Arriva:

Arriva is a leading provider of passenger transport across Europe, employing around 34,600 people and delivering around 1.5 billion passenger journeys across 10 European countries. We are part of Deutsche Bahn (DB), one of the world’s leading passenger and logistics companies. With buses, trains, coaches, trams, waterbuses, bike-­­­sharing systems, and on-demand transport solutions, Arriva proudly connects people and communities safely, reliably and sustainably, delivering these services in a better way, every day. The activities of Arriva are divided into four lines of business: UK Bus, UK Trains, The Netherlands and Mainland Europe.  Arriva has operations in the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.  For further information:

Contact information

Arriva Group press office

UK Trains, ARL: UK Trains, ARL

UK Trains, ARL