First Capital Connect, which operates in Hendon, Mill Hill and Borehamwood, loses Thameslink rail franchise

Times Series: Breaking: First Capital Connect loses Thameslink rail franchise Breaking: First Capital Connect loses Thameslink rail franchise

The Government has announced its intention to award the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise to Govia Thameslinik Railway Limited.

The news will be welcomed by critics of First Capital Connect (FCC), which was branded the worst train operator in the country in February last year with a customer satisfaction score of just 40 per cent.

FCC currently operates services in Hendon, Mill Hill and Borehamwood.

Govia is promising three new state-of-the-art train fleets that will deliver more services and seats, faster journeys and better connections across many of the busiest rail routes in London and the south east.

Govia will be given a seven-year-franchise, during which it is intended 1,400 new electric carriages will be rolled out across the new franchise, providing 50 per cent more capacity and 10,000 additional seats every weekday into centra London during the morning peak by the end of 2018.

In addition, the new franchise intends investing millions in improving stations and staffing, a simplified ticketing structure, cleanliness and setting tough new targets. It is intended these will improve punctuality by reducing delays by around one fifth.

Govia will order a new fleet of 108 carriages for the Gatwick Express service, replacing the current 25-year-old trains with a fleet better suited to the needs of airport passengers.

It will also secure 150 new carriages to replace the 40-year-old trains currently operating on the route between Moorgate, north London and Hertfordshire.

Govia will invest significantly in improving stations, including free Wi-Fi 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.

The new operator intends developing website, smartphone and tablet apps that will make door-to-door travel easier for customers, including planning journeys, buying tickets and booking onward taxis.

Rail Minister Stephen Hammound said: "A world class railway is a vital part of our long-term economic plan.

"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."

The TSGN franchise will replace the existing Thameslink and Great Northern franchise, currently operated by First Capital Connect, from September 14. It will include the South Central franchise, operated at Southern and Gatwick Express, when it expires on Deptember 26, 2015.

A small number of services and stations will transfer from the South Eastern franchise by December 21, 2014.

Comments (10)

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9:07am Fri 23 May 14

TFEB says...

All these things the new company is doing have already been planned and ordered by FCC so nothing new being offered. Just hope they run it better.
All these things the new company is doing have already been planned and ordered by FCC so nothing new being offered. Just hope they run it better. TFEB
  • Score: 4

9:07am Fri 23 May 14

TFEB says...

All these things the new company is doing have already been planned and ordered by FCC so nothing new being offered. Just hope they run it better.
All these things the new company is doing have already been planned and ordered by FCC so nothing new being offered. Just hope they run it better. TFEB
  • Score: 0

11:49pm Sun 25 May 14

Palma21 says...

I just hope that the new company will increase the number of trains in and out of Borehamwood to at least 3 an hour off peak to take into account the increase in passengers and the ever growing population of the town.
I just hope that the new company will increase the number of trains in and out of Borehamwood to at least 3 an hour off peak to take into account the increase in passengers and the ever growing population of the town. Palma21
  • Score: 2

12:54am Mon 26 May 14

nlygo says...

there are currently 4 trains an hour off-peak...
there are currently 4 trains an hour off-peak... nlygo
  • Score: 1

5:10pm Mon 26 May 14

Palma21 says...

Yes that is true there are 4 trains an hour off-peak during the day but not in the evening when there are only 2 an hour to E & BW station and if you just miss one, or a train is cancelled you could potentially have to wait an hour as no one at control thinks we could stop one of the fast trains to accommodate the passengers. Bearing in mind that all stations from St. Pancras up to and including Mill Hill have an alternative tube service so any fast train would only need to stop at E & BW thus delaying it only for a short while. It is feasible if only the powers that be had the commitment to put their passengers first. At least if there are 3 an hour that would help but I would actually be deliriously happy if there were 4 an hour - that really would be tremendous progress. It is no fun being stranded at such inhospitable stations as West Hampstead and Kentish Town in the middle of winter in the evening.
Yes that is true there are 4 trains an hour off-peak during the day but not in the evening when there are only 2 an hour to E & BW station and if you just miss one, or a train is cancelled you could potentially have to wait an hour as no one at control thinks we could stop one of the fast trains to accommodate the passengers. Bearing in mind that all stations from St. Pancras up to and including Mill Hill have an alternative tube service so any fast train would only need to stop at E & BW thus delaying it only for a short while. It is feasible if only the powers that be had the commitment to put their passengers first. At least if there are 3 an hour that would help but I would actually be deliriously happy if there were 4 an hour - that really would be tremendous progress. It is no fun being stranded at such inhospitable stations as West Hampstead and Kentish Town in the middle of winter in the evening. Palma21
  • Score: 1

5:47pm Mon 26 May 14

nlygo says...

I am sure that when the Thameslink 2000 project is complete there will be more evening trains

however if the demand for more frequent trains isn't there, there won't be additional services
I am sure that when the Thameslink 2000 project is complete there will be more evening trains however if the demand for more frequent trains isn't there, there won't be additional services nlygo
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Mon 26 May 14

Palma21 says...

I hope you are right nlygo that there will be more evening trains. As to your comment about demand for more frequent trains, have you ever got off the train at E & BW in the evening ? The train practically empties proving that there is a need for a more frequent train service at E & BW.
I hope you are right nlygo that there will be more evening trains. As to your comment about demand for more frequent trains, have you ever got off the train at E & BW in the evening ? The train practically empties proving that there is a need for a more frequent train service at E & BW. Palma21
  • Score: 0

9:10am Tue 27 May 14

TFEB says...

The train nearly empties at E&BW as the only people left on it are mainly going to Radlett. Anyone going beyond Radlett would get a fast train first stop St Albans.
The train nearly empties at E&BW as the only people left on it are mainly going to Radlett. Anyone going beyond Radlett would get a fast train first stop St Albans. TFEB
  • Score: 0

11:03am Tue 27 May 14

Palma21 says...

TFEB wrote:
The train nearly empties at E&BW as the only people left on it are mainly going to Radlett. Anyone going beyond Radlett would get a fast train first stop St Albans.
Yes, I realise that which proves my point that E & BW is the busiest station from St. Pancras apart from St.Albans which, as you say passengers would get the fast train.
[quote][p][bold]TFEB[/bold] wrote: The train nearly empties at E&BW as the only people left on it are mainly going to Radlett. Anyone going beyond Radlett would get a fast train first stop St Albans.[/p][/quote]Yes, I realise that which proves my point that E & BW is the busiest station from St. Pancras apart from St.Albans which, as you say passengers would get the fast train. Palma21
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Thu 29 May 14

Richard Logue says...

When Govia ran the previous Thameslink franchise Mill Hill Broadway had up to eight trains per hour, four fast and four slow. I hope we get at least that level of service when First Capital Connect''s reign of terror for the outer London stations comes to a well-deserved end.
When Govia ran the previous Thameslink franchise Mill Hill Broadway had up to eight trains per hour, four fast and four slow. I hope we get at least that level of service when First Capital Connect''s reign of terror for the outer London stations comes to a well-deserved end. Richard Logue
  • Score: 2

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