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September 29 2022, Virtual
Network capacity to increase 10% by 2013
UK train operator Southern Railways has announced plans to increase capacity by 10% across its network by 2013, following the retention of the South Central rail franchise by parent company Govia.
The new franchise starts on September 20, and will run until 2015, with a two-year extension available at the discretion of the Department for Transport (DfT).
Southern's successful bid for the franchise included a commitment to increase capacity by 10% by the end of 2013, through the extension of eight-car trains to ten cars on key Metro routes, and an increase in peak time services into London and Brighton.
Southern also said that staffing "at almost all Greater London stations" will be extended to provide cover from the first to the last service.
The rail operator also plans to invest £76m into the network, including £23m to improve train interiors, and £28m to improve station facilities. Planned improvements include:
Southern also plans to introduce a new Smartmedia system by early 2012. The operator says Smartmedia is similar to Oyster, and will make ticket buying easier and enable automatic top-ups for season tickets at 26 stations outside London and 18 stations within London.