More trains, more seats and millions of pounds of station refurbishments are promised as new firm takes on region's busiest rail network
The Department for Transport has announced the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail franchise will be run by Govia.
The Government has announced the winner of the competition to run a new rail franchise that includes the £6.5 billion Thameslink project.
Govia has welcomed today’s announcement by the Department for Transport to award the Go-Ahead 65% / Keolis 35% joint venture the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise.
This is the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue, and staff.
The TSGN will serve London as well as a number of important regional centres,including Cambridge, Luton and Peterborough.
It also provides direct rail links to major airports as well as St Pancras International and Farringdon station for links to Heathrow and Crossrail in due course.
- New trains - introducing three new train fleets
- More services – 10,000 additional morning peak seats into London
- Increasing capacity – 50% more passenger capacity created
- Better connections – up to 24 trains per hour through the Thameslink core in peak periods
- Station enhancement – £50m investment in improving facilities
– David Brown, Group Chief Executive of The Go-Ahead Group
“Our bid for the franchise was focused on improving customers’ experience and includes two new train fleets for Gatwick Express and Moorgate services, in addition to overseeing the introduction of the Thameslink trains already ordered, as well as delivering improvements at stations.
“I’m looking forward to working with existing colleagues and welcoming new staff and together delivering this transformational franchise.”
It's claimed commuters using the Thameslink rail line which runs from Bedford to London may have to wait longer for improved services.
While changes have been made, including longer trains and the current redevelopment of Blackfriars and London Bridge stations, the National Audit Office is concerned progress is too slow.
A major upgrade to a key rail route in this region is at risk of not being delivered on time, a public spending watchdog has warned.
Thameslink runs from Bedford to Brighton, bringing thousands of commuters from this region into the capital and serving London Luton Airport.
The National Audit Office has said delays in awarding the contract to build the new trains for the route risks putting the entire project behind schedule.