Thameslink and Great Northern

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Thameslink
GoviaThameslinkLogo.svg
700008 Sevenoaks to Kentish Town 2E75 (31333854845).jpg
Overview
Franchise(s) Part of Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern
14 Sep 2014–2021
Main region(s) London, Bedfordshire, Surrey, Kent, Sussex
Stations called at 79
Stations operated 77 (TL and GN)
Route km operated 778.9 (TL and GN)
National Rail abbreviation TL (Thameslink)
Parent company Govia Thameslink Railway
Website www.thameslinkrailway.com/
Great Northern
GreatNorthernLogo.svg
365535 London Kings Cross.jpg
Overview
Franchise(s) Part of Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern
14 Sep 2014–2021
Main region(s) London, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk
Stations called at 54
Stations operated 77 (TL and GN)
Route km operated 778.9 (TL and GN)
National Rail abbreviation GN (Great Northern)
Parent company Govia Thameslink Railway
Website https://www.greatnorthernrail.com/

Thameslink and Great Northern are the brand names used by the Govia Thameslink Railway train operating company on the Thameslink and Great Northern routes of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise, previously operated by First Capital Connect.

History

Thameslink and Great Northern services were merged into one franchise in 2006 due to the Thameslink Programme. In 2012, it was announced that services of First Capital Connect, Southern (with Gatwick Express) and some Southeastern routes would be merged into a single franchise for the expanding Thameslink network.[1] The Invitation to Tender was to have been issued in October 2012, with the successful bidder announced in Spring 2013 and TSGN originally due to start in September 2013. However, due to the collapse of the InterCity West Coast re-franchising process, all franchising competitions were frozen until January 2013.[2] In January 2013 the government announced that it would extend the contract until March 2014, intending to negotiate with FirstGroup to operate the franchise on a management contract for up to two years.[3]

In March 2013 the Secretary of State for Transport announced that the franchise would again be extended, until 13 September 2014, and that the future franchise would be a management-style contract due to the level of investment and change on the route.[4] In September 2013 a revised invitation to tender was issued.[5] Govia Thameslink Railway was awarded the franchise on 23 May 2014.[6][7]

On 14 September 2014, Thameslink and Great Northern took over from First Capital Connect, serving 122 stations and operating a fleet of 226 trains. In December 2014, full control was taken of the Sevenoaks Thameslink service (this service was previously jointly operated with Southeastern).

Franchise commitments

An example of widescale upgrade works at Harpenden station including the extension of platforms for 12 carriage trains, a new footbridge with lifts, new waiting rooms, brighter lighting, new ticket gates and automatic passenger information screens

This franchise is different from many other franchises let since privatisation in 1996. Now the operator, in this case Govia, gives all revenue to the government, rather than paying set premiums. The Department for Transport will pay Govia, totalling around £8.9bn over the franchise period of seven years, from the expected revenues of £12.4bn. With this Govia expects to make a 3% profit, and the risks on costs will be Govia's, while the DfT will profit or lose from fluctuations in revenue.[8]

Govia plans to invest £50m in all 239 stations it will manage. It plans to:[9]

  • Enhance all 239 stations including improving access, replace electronic information screens and working with local authorities on the redevelopment of St Albans and Luton stations.
  • Increase staffing hours at many stations, with the 100 busiest stations staffed from first to last train, like London Overground stations.
  • Extension of 'the key' smartcard which Southern has been introducing.
  • Provide 104 stations with free wifi.
  • £1.5m on station access improvements including increased cycle storage and electrical vehicle charging points.

Other plans include:[10]

  • Half-hourly King's Lynn to London services
  • Direct Peterborough, Cambridge, Welwyn Garden City and Finsbury Park to Tattenham Corner, Caterham, Horsham services.[11]
  • Increasing Great Northern suburban services to four trains per hour via Enfield Chase and New Barnet
  • Great Northern suburban services to run to Moorgate at weekends and on weekday evenings
  • 50% increase in capacity from Uckfield to London in the peaks.
  • Doubling overnight Thameslink services
  • Sevenoaks Thameslink services to run on Saturdays
  • Working to extend Oyster to Epsom, Gatwick Airport, Luton Airport Parkway, Welwyn Garden City and Hertford North[12]
  • Class 387 Electrostars for King's Lynn express services, releasing Class 317s, 321s and some Class 365s for newly electrified routes elsewhere.[13]
  • Creating an Alliance arrangement with Network Rail in 2016, like South West Trains.[14]

Services

As of 21 May 2017, the current routes operated off-peak Monday to Friday are with frequencies measured in trains per hour:[15]

Thameslink network

Thameslink logo
Thameslink
Route tph Calling at
Bedford to Brighton 2 Flitwick, Harlington, Leagrave, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, Harpenden, St Albans City, West Hampstead Thameslink, London St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Burgess Hill, Hassocks, Preston Park
Bedford to Three Bridges 2 Flitwick, Harlington, Leagrave, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, Harpenden, St Albans City, London St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, East Croydon, Purley, Coulsdon South, Merstham, Redhill, Gatwick Airport
London Bridge to Brighton 2 East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Balcombe (1tph), Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill (1tph)
Balcombe and Burgess Hill are served by alternate trains.
Luton to St Albans City via Wimbledon (anticlockwise loop) 2 Luton Airport Parkway, Harpenden, St Albans City, Radlett, Elstree & Borehamwood, Mill Hill Broadway, Hendon, Cricklewood, West Hampstead Thameslink, Kentish Town, London St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Loughborough Junction, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill, Streatham, Tooting, Haydons Road, Wimbledon, Wimbledon Chase, South Merton, Morden South, St Helier, Sutton Common, West Sutton, Sutton
Service continues to St Albans City via Hackbridge (see below).
St Albans City to Luton via Sutton (clockwise loop) 2 Radlett, Elstree & Borehamwood, Mill Hill Broadway, Hendon, Cricklewood, West Hampstead Thameslink, Kentish Town, London St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Loughborough Junction, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill, Streatham, Mitcham Eastfields, Mitcham Junction, Hackbridge, Carshalton, Sutton
Service continues to Luton via Wimbledon (see above).
West Hampstead Thameslink to Sevenoaks 2 Kentish Town, London St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye, Nunhead, Crofton Park, Catford, Bellingham, Beckenham Hill, Ravensbourne, Shortlands, Bromley South, Bickley, St Mary Cray, Swanley, Eynsford, Shoreham, Otford, Bat & Ball

There are limited services to and from Beckenham Junction, Orpington and Selhurst. At peak-times some Sevenoaks and Sutton trains are extended to and from Bedford.

Great Northern network

Great Northern logo
Great Northern
Route tph Calling at
London King's Cross to King's Lynn (fast) 1 Cambridge, Waterbeach, Ely, Littleport, Downham Market, Watlington
London King's Cross to Ely (fast) 1 Cambridge, Cambridge North
London King's Cross to Cambridge (semi-fast) 1 Finsbury Park, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Baldock, Royston
London King's Cross to Cambridge North (semi-fast) 1 Finsbury Park, Potters Bar, Hatfield, Welwyn Garden City, Welwyn North, Knebworth, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Baldock, Ashwell and Morden, Royston, Meldreth, Shepreth, Foxton, Cambridge
London King's Cross to Peterborough (semi-fast) 2 Finsbury Park, Potters Bar (1tph), Hatfield (1tph), Welwyn Garden City (1tph), Welwyn North (1tph), Knebworth (1tph), Stevenage, Hitchin, Arlesey, Biggleswade, Sandy, St Neots, Huntingdon
Stations served hourly are all served by the same train.
London Moorgate to Welwyn Garden City (stopping) 3 Old Street, Essex Road, Highbury & Islington, Drayton Park, Finsbury Park, Harringay, Hornsey, Alexandra Palace, New Southgate, Oakleigh Park, New Barnet, Hadley Wood, Potters Bar, Brookmans Park, Welham Green, Hatfield
London Moorgate to Hertford North and Letchworth Garden City (stopping) 3 Old Street, Essex Road, Highbury & Islington, Drayton Park, Finsbury Park, Harringay, Hornsey, Alexandra Palace, Bowes Park, Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill, Grange Park, Enfield Chase, Gordon Hill, Crews Hill, Cuffley, Bayford; 1tph extended to Letchworth Garden City calling at Watton-at-Stone, Stevenage and Hitchin

Rolling stock

Interior of a Thameslink Class 700
Interior of a cascaded Great Northern Class 387 train

In 2011 the consortium Cross London Trains Ltd. consisting of Siemens Project Ventures, 3i Infrastructure plc and Innisfree Ltd was announced as preferred bidder with Siemens to manufacture and maintain the rolling stock to run on the Thameslink routes from 2016. This was a politically controversial decision as the competing bidder Bombardier Transportation had a train factory in the UK.[16] Both the procurement process and final close of contract were significantly delayed, resulting in the expected first delivery date moving from 2012 to 2016. The trains are known as Class 700s and the £1.6 billion contract to manufacture and provide service depots for the trains was finalised in mid 2013.[17] A fleet of 115 8- and 12-car trains is expected to enter service between 2016 and 2018. A new-build rolling stock depot was completed at Three Bridges in 2015,[18] and Hornsey depot was extended northwards and had several new buildings added in 2016.[19]

Because of the delay in procuring the Class 700 trains, 29 Class 387 trains were ordered for the Thameslink route, releasing the Class 319 trains to newly electrified routes. Delivery was completed in 2014 and the trains entered service later that year. The order includes provision for an extra 140 vehicles.[5][20] It was originally planned that once the Class 700s began entering service, the Class 387s would be transferred to Great Western Railway for use on routes in the Thames Valley.[21] However a change of plans saw GWR order an entirely new fleet of Class 387s, so the Thameslink units were cascaded to the Great Northern route following delivery of the Class 700s.[22][23]

In addition to the introduction of the new Class 700 units, GTR also ordered a further 25 new 6-car trains to replace the 40-year-old Class 313 units[8] on the Great Northern Moorgate suburban services. In December 2015, Siemens was selected to provide these as a follow-on to the Class 700 order.[24][25] They were designated as the Class 717 in June 2016.[26]

Current fleet

Class Image Type Top speed Cars Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Thameslink
Class 700/0 700110 - London Blackfriars 3T13.JPG EMU 100 161 8 39 Brighton / Three BridgesBedford
BrightonLondon Bridge
SuttonSt Albans City / Luton
Rush Hour Orpington / Bromley South / Beckenham JunctionSt Albans City / Luton / Bedford
2015–8
Class 700/1 12 16
Great Northern
Class 313 Great Northern 313058+313025 at Finsbury Park - 16 March 2017.jpg EMU 75 120 3 44 London Moorgate / London King's CrossWelwyn Garden City / Hertford North / Stevenage / Letchworth Garden City 1976–7
Class 313 First Capital Connect Diagram.png
Class 365 365535 London Kings Cross.jpg EMU 100 161 4 40 London King's CrossPeterborough / Cambridge / Ely 1994–5
Class 387/1 387108 at Kings Lynn.jpg 110 177 29 London King's CrossPeterborough / Cambridge / King's Lynn 2014–5

1: ^ The Northern City Line between Moorgate and Drayton Park is also electrified at 750V DC third rail.

Future fleet

 Class  Image Type  Top speed   Cars   Number   Routes operated  Built
 mph   km/h 
Class 700/0 700110 - London Blackfriars 3T13.JPG EMU 100 161 8 21 Brighton / Three BridgesBedford
BrightonLondon Bridge
SuttonSt Albans City / Luton West Hampstead Thameslink -Sevenoaks
Rush Hour Orpington / Bromley South / Beckenham JunctionSt Albans City / Luton / Bedford
2016–8
Class 700/1 12 39
Class 717[26] Great Northern Class 717.jpg 6 25 Northern City Line 2018–

Past fleet

Former units operated by Thameslink and Great Northern include:

Class Image Type Top speed Carriages Number Built Withdrawn Transferred to
mph km/h
Class 317 Stevenage railway station MMB 02 317345.jpg EMU 100 161 4 12 1981–82 2017 Greater Anglia
Class 319 319373 and 319 number 438 to Sevenoaks 2E45 by Train Photos.jpg EMU 100 161 4 86 1987–88 2015–17 Northern, London Midland or stored
Class 321 V F CC 321404 A Hornsey TMD.JPG EMU 100 161 4 13 1989–90 2016 Greater Anglia or Abellio ScotRail (as Class 320)
Class 377 377519 at Bedford.jpg EMU 100 161 4 26 2008–09 2017 Southeastern and Southern

Driver depots

Driver depots are located across the network at;[27]

Thameslink

Great Northern

Performance

Govia and Thameslink passenger numbers 2011 to 2016, annual rolling average[28][29]

In February 2015, Thameslink and Great Northern came at the bottom of Which? magazine's Best and worst UK train companies customer survey, scoring a customer satisfaction score of 43%. Thameslink and Great Northern was also scored 2/5 stars in each of the specific categories covered by the survey (including Reliability, Punctuality and Cleanliness of toilets) – which is the worst performance of any UK train operator.[30]

Passenger numbers on Govia Thameslink Railway (which also includes Southern and Gatwick Express) have risen from 262 million annually in 2010/11 to 327 million annually in 2015/16.[29]

References

  1. ^ "Consultation on the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise". Department for Transport. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Expanding and improving the rail network". Department for Transport. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Rail franchising future programme. Department for Transport. 31 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers". Secretary of State for Transport statement 26 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b Thameslink Southern & Great Northern Invitation to Tender. Department for Transport. 26 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Govia chosen for new Thameslink contract". Railnews. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Govia wins TSGN franchise, beating FirstGroup". Rail Technology. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Topham, Gwyn (23 May 2014). "FirstGroup loses Thameslink franchise to Go-Ahead joint venture". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Govia awarded TSGN franchise" (Press release). Govia. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "TSGN". Govia. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Proposed Thameslink service pattern" (PDF). Thameslink Programme. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Easier journeys and better information". Govia. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "New Trains". Govia. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "More reliable and faster services". Govia. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  15. ^ Timetables : Thameslink
  16. ^ "Siemens beats Bombardier to Thameslink train order". BBC News. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Millward, David (13 June 2013). "Bombardier blow as Siemens wins £1.6bn Thameslink deal". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  18. ^ "Three Bridges depot opens its doors". VolkerFitzpatrick. VolkerFitzpatrick. 15 October 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "Modernised depot to transform Great Northern rail services". VolkerFitzpatrick. VolkerFitzpatrick. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "Bombardier to manufacture 116 new train carriages for Thameslink rolling stock cascade" (Press release). Southern. 17 July 2013. 
  21. ^ First Great Western plans AT300s to Cornwall Railway Gazette 23 March 2015
  22. ^ [1] "Rail Magazine" 10th June 2016
  23. ^ [2] "Rail Magazine" 8th June 2016
  24. ^ "Siemens selected to supply Moorgate suburban EMU fleet". Railway Gazette. London. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  25. ^ Clinnick, Richard (22 December 2015). "Siemens favoured for new GN trains". Rail. Peterborough. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  26. ^ a b "New Govia Thameslink Railway trains to be Class 717s". RAIL magazine. RAIL magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  27. ^ "Train operating company driver's depots on the Traindriver.org website". September 2017. 
  28. ^ "Passenger numbers by TOC". 
  29. ^ a b "GTR Key Stats". 
  30. ^ "Best and worst UK train companies". Which?. 

External links

  • Media related to Govia Thameslink Railway at Wikimedia Commons
  • Thameslink website
  • Great Northern website
Preceded by
First Capital Connect
Thameslink Great Northern franchise
Sub-brand of Govia Thameslink Railway
Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise

2014 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
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