Train operators vie for Brockley services

The Times is among the papers reporting that:

"National Express, Stagecoach, Govia and Ned Railways will fight for the new South Central franchise.

"The eventual winner will have to increase capacity by around 10 per cent overall. They will also help facilitate the East London Line Extension from 2010 and the £5.5 billion Thameslink Programme.

"Other improvements that the DfT wants to see delivered from the new franchise include smartcards — like the capital's Oyster card — rolled out throughout the franchise area. It also wants to see improvements to stations to make them safer, later running services, improved reliability and better environmental performance.

"The successful bidder is expected to be announced in early summer 2009 and the franchise will operate from September 2009 until July 2015."