London Overground at West Croydon

UK: Transport for London has awarded Arriva a two-year extension to its concession to operate London Overground services.

Arriva Rail London has operated London Overground inner-suburban services under a concession model since November 2016. TfL takes the revenue risk, while the operator receives a fixed payment with performance-based adjustments.

A deed of amendment to the contract is expected to be signed by the end of July 2023, with the extension starting in May 2024 and running to May 3 2026

TfL will have an option to end the contract a year early in May 2025; this option must be called by August 31 2023.

London Overground ridership is now at 88% of pre-pandemic levels.

‘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’, said Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager for London Overground, when the contract extension was announced on June 27.

Deutsche Bahn owned Arriva Group said it ‘is the only owning group to have experience with all contract types currently in use on Britain’s railway’, with National Rail Contracts at CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways, the concession model at London Overground and open access operator Grand Central. It also owns maintenance business Arriva Traincare.