Faster trains from Eastbourne to London have been promised under the new seven-year rail franchise which has been announced today (Friday, May 23).
Govia Thameslink Railway Limited has been awarded the franchise and said there will be journey time reductions between Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes and central London on some off-peak services.
A spokesman said the three new state-of-the-art electric train fleets will also mean more services and seats and better connections across the south east – including the line from Brighton to Ashford, via Eastbourne.
A spokesperson said, “Govia will invest significantly in improving stations, including free wifi at more than 100 stations, better retail and catering facilities and improvements to customer information systems.
“Staffing hours will also be extended so that at more than 100 of the largest stations there will be staff available from the first train in the morning to the last train at night.
“Demanding contractual obligations on the operator will deliver cleaner and more spacious trains and improve passenger satisfaction. Tough new benchmarks for performance, train and station cleanliness and customer service information have also been agreed.
“The operator will also develop website, smartphone and tablet apps that will make door-to-door travel easier for customers, including planning journeys, buying tickets and booking onward taxis.”
The TSGN franchise will replace the existing Thameslink and Great Northern franchise (operated as First Capital Connect) from September 14 2014 and will include the South Central franchise (operated as Southern and Gatwick Express) when it expires on July 26 2015.