Transport for London (TfL) is to take over the running of the North London Railway in November 2007 as a first step towards the creation of a new Metro-style rail network for the capital. The London Overground will connect 71 stations in 20 boroughs, providing the basis for an orbital train service to be completed by 2016. The first phase will see station upgrades on the existing North London Railway, while service frequency will increase from two to eight trains per hour in 2009 when a new fleet of three-car trains is introduced. The completion of the East London Line extension between Dalston and West Croydon in 2010 in time for the 2012 Olympics will add the East London Railway to the Overground network and in the same year a new railway is to be built between Dalston and Highbury & Islington linking the east and north London lines. Although TfL is to manage the new network, a private company will operate the trains, with four firms already short-listed for the contract.
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