A NEW franchise has been picked to take over the running of rail services through Croydon. Govia Thameslink will replace First Capital Connect services from September and then incorporate the South Central franchise – operated as Southern and Gatwick Express – when it expires in July 2015. Govia say services will improve for passengers along the London to Surrey routem which takes in stations including Norwood Junction, East Croydon, and Purley. New off-peak services calling at Coulsdon South and Purley will be brought in from December 2015. Other planned improvements include boosting capacity, more reliable journeys, and four trains per hour on the Thameslink network. Nearly 1,400 new electric carriages will be rolled out across the new franchise, providing 10,000 extra seats every weekday into central London during the morning peak by the end of 2018. Rail minister Stephen Hammond said the deal is part of a plan to create a "world class railway". The deal will also mean better, more regular services to and from Gatwick Airport, the new operator has said.
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