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New train operator named for upgraded Thameslink route

London SE1 website team

The Government has announced that Govia has won the franchise to operate train services on the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern routes for the next seven years.

New train operator named for upgraded Thameslink route
Mockup of the class 700 Thameslink train

Govia currently holds the Southern, Southeastern and London Midland franchises. It will now add the routes currently operated by First Capital Connect – including the upgraded cross-London Thameslink route through Blackfriars – to its portfolio.

"A world class railway is a vital part of our long-term economic plan," said rail minister Stephen Hammond.

"New state-of-the-art trains, more seats, better connections and improved stations will transform travel across London and the south east.

"That's great news for businesses and the hundreds of thousands of passengers who use these vital services every day."

First Capital Connect managing director David Statham said: "We are of course disappointed that our parent company FirstGroup has not been selected as the operator for the TSGN franchise. We will work with Govia in order to secure the smooth transition of operations.

"Everyone at FCC is committed to continue operating First Capital Connect to the highest standards until the new TSGN franchise begins.

"We look forward to delivering continued improvements in service reliability, customer information and customer service until September 2014."

He added: "I want to thank our employees for their hard work and continued efforts to deliver the best possible service for our passengers."

The new operator will be responsible for operating the new fleet of class 700 trains to be introduced on Thameslink services.

The programme to update the Thameslink route to provide capacity for up to 24 trains an hour through the centre of London at Blackfriars is due to be completed in 2018 when the rebuilt London Bridge Station is fully operational.

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