Thameslink and Great Northern

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Thameslink and Great Northern
700110 - London Blackfriars 3T13.JPG
Overview
Franchise(s): Part of Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern
14 Sep 2014 - 2021
Main region(s): London, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex
Other region(s): Norfolk, Surrey, Kent
Stations called at: 129 (approx)
Stations operated: 77
Route km operated: 778.9
National Rail abbreviation: TL (Thameslink)
GN (Great Northern)
Parent company: Govia Thameslink Railway
Website: www.thameslinkrailway.com
Route map
Route map
A recently overhauled Class 319 train with new passenger information systems on the Thameslink route
The interior of a new Thameslink Class 387 train

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]

Services

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).

As of 13 December 2015, the current routes operated off-peak Monday to Friday are with frequencies measured in trains per hour:[8]

Thameslink
Route Frequency Calling at
Bedford - Brighton 2 trains per hour Bedford, Flitwick, Harlington, Leagrave, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, Harpenden, St Albans City, West Hampstead Thameslink, St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Burgess Hill, Hassocks, Preston Park, Brighton
Bedford - Three Bridges 2 trains per hour Bedford, Flitwick, Harlington, Leagrave, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, Harpenden, St Albans City, St Pancras International, Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, East Croydon, Purley, Coulsdon South, Merstham, Redhill, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges
London Bridge - Brighton 2 trains per hour London Bridge, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Balcombe (hourly), Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill (hourly), Brighton
(Balcombe and Burgess Hill are served by alternate trains)
Luton - Sutton then St Albans City 2 trains per hour Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, Harpenden, St Albans City, Radlett, Elstree & Borehamwood, Mill Hill Broadway, Hendon, Cricklewood, West Hampstead Thameslink, Kentish Town, 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, Carshalton, Hackbridge, Mitcham Junction, Mitcham Eastfields, Streatham, all stations back to St Albans
St Albans City - Sevenoaks 2 trains per hour West Hampstead Thameslink, Kentish Town, 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, Sevenoaks

Peak-time-only services on Thameslink routes include:

  • Bedford - Beckenham Junction (4 tpd)
  • Bedford - Elephant & Castle (2 tpd)
  • Bedford - Orpington (1 tpd)
  • Bedford - Sevenoaks (4 tpd)
  • Bedford - Sutton via Mitcham Junction (4 tpd)
  • Bedford - Sutton via Wimbledon (4 tpd)
  • Luton - Bromley South via Catford (1 tpd)
  • Luton - Sevenoaks (8 tpd)
  • Selhurst - Luton (1 tpd)
  • Selhurst - Bedford (1tpd)
  • St Albans City - Bromley South (1 tpd)
  • St Albans City - Sevenoaks (6 tpd)
  • West Hampstead Thameslink - Orpington (1 tpd)
Great Northern
Route Frequency Calling at
London King's Cross - Cambridge and King's Lynn 2 trains per hour London King's Cross, Cambridge; 1 train per hour extended to Kings Lynn calling at Waterbeach, Ely, Littleport, Downham Market, Watlington and King's Lynn
London King's Cross - Peterborough 2 trains per hour London King's Cross, Finsbury Park, Potters Bar (hourly), Hatfield (hourly), Welwyn Garden City (hourly), Welwyn North (hourly), Knebworth (hourly), Stevenage, Hitchin, Arlesey, Biggleswade, Sandy, St. Neots, Huntingdon, Peterborough
London King's Cross - Cambridge 2 trains per hour London King's Cross, Finsbury Park, Potters Bar (hourly), Hatfield (hourly), Welwyn Garden City (hourly), Welwyn North (hourly), Knebworth (hourly), Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Baldock, Ashwell and Morden (hourly), Royston, Meldreth (hourly), Shepreth (hourly), Foxton (hourly), Cambridge
London Moorgate - Welwyn Garden City 3 trains per hour London Moorgate, 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, Welwyn Garden City
London Moorgate - Hertford North and Letchworth Garden City 3 trains per hour London Moorgate, 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, Hertford North; 1 train per hour extended to Letchworth Garden City calling at Watton-at-Stone, Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth Garden City

Peak-time-only services on Great Northern routes include:

  • London Kings Cross - Ely (5 tpd)
  • London Kings Cross - Huntingdon (2 tpd)
  • London Kings Cross - Royston (10 tpd)
  • London Moorgate - Hitchin via Hertford North (2 tpd)
  • London Moorgate - Gordon Hill (10 tpd)
  • London Moorgate - Stevenage via Hertford North (12 tpd)

Rolling Stock

Current fleet

All Thameslink rolling stock is electrically powered dual-voltage units using 25 kV AC overhead power north of Farringdon and 750 V DC third rail to the south.[1]

Thameslink

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 319 319373 and 319 number 438 to Sevenoaks 2E45 by Train Photos.jpg EMU 100 160 59 Thameslink
Three BridgesBedford, SuttonLuton and SevenoaksWest Hampstead Thameslink
(occasionally BrightonBedford and BrightonLondon Bridge)
1987–88 and 1990
Class 377/2 Electrostar Milton Keynes Central railway station MMB 09 377208.jpg EMU 100 160 9 Thameslink
Brighton / Three BridgesBedford
BrightonLondon Bridge;
(also during peak hours: BedfordAshford International / Rochester services)
2002-2003
Class 377/5 Electrostar 377519 at Bedford.jpg EMU 100 160 23 2008–09
Class 387/1 387106 departs Brighton station.jpg EMU 110 177 29 Thameslink
Brighton / Three BridgesBedford
BrightonLondon Bridge
2014-15

Great Northern

Class Image Type Top speed Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 313 Unit 313027 at Grange Park crop.JPG EMU 75 120 44 Inner suburban
Great Northern
MoorgateLetchworth Garden City / Stevenage / Hertford North / Welwyn Garden City
1976–77
Class 317 317338 at Cricklewood.jpg EMU 100 160 12 Fast and Semi-fast
Great Northern
LondonPeterborough / Cambridge
1981–82
Class 321 V F CC 321404 A Hornsey TMD.JPG EMU 100 160 13 Fast and Semi-fast
Great Northern
LondonCambridge
1989–90
Class 365 Class 365 Networker Express in Great Northern livery by Hugh Llewelyn.jpg EMU 100 160 40 Fast and Semi-fast
Great Northern
LondonPeterborough / King's Lynn (via Cambridge)
1994–95

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

Future rolling stock

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.[9] 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.[10] A fleet of 115 8- and 12-car trains are expected to enter service between 2016 and 2018. Associated rolling stock depots are being built at Hornsey and Three Bridges.

Because of the delay in procuring the Class 700 trains, 29 Class 387 trains were ordered for the Thameslink route, facilitating the release of existing Class 319 trains to newly electrified routes. In the longer term, these new trains will in turn also be cascaded, to the Thames Valley service. Delivery was completed in 2014 and the trains entered service later that year. The order includes provision for an extra 140 vehicles.[11][5] Once the Class 700s begin entering service, the Class 387s will be transferred to Great Western Railway for use on routes in the Thames Valley.[12]

In addition to the introduction of the new Class 700 units, GTR also plan to procure a further 25 new 6-car trains for use on Great Northern suburban services that originate from London Moorgate, replacing the 35-year-old Class 313 trains.[13][14] In December 2015 it was announced that Siemens would be providing these new trains as a follow-on to the Class 700 order.[15][16]

 Class  Image Type  Top speed   Cars per set   Number   Seat layout   Routes operated   Built   Years operated 
 mph   km/h 
Class 700 700110 - London Blackfriars 3T13.JPG EMU 100 160 8 60 n/a Thameslink route

Great Northern route

2015- From early 2016
12 55
6 25 Transverse Moorgate routes From 2018

Franchise commitments

File:ThameslinkAndGreatNorthern.svg
The logo at the start of the franchise.
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
Beckenham Hill transferred from Southeastern to Thameslink management in December 2014

This franchise is different from 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.[13]

Govia plans to invest £50m in all 239 stations it will manage. It plans to:[17]

  • 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:[18]

  • Half-hourly King's Lynn to London services
  • Direct Peterborough, Cambridge, Welwyn Garden City and Finsbury Park to Tattenham Corner, Caterham, Horsham services.[19]
  • 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[20]
  • Class 377 Electrostars for King's Lynn express services, releasing Class 317s, 321s and some Class 365s for newly electrified routes elsewhere.[21]
  • Creating an Alliance arrangement with Network Rail in 2016, like South West Trains.[22]

Performance

Thameslink and Great Northern passenger numbers 2012 to 2015, annual rolling average[23]

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.[24]

Passenger numbers

Passenger numbers have risen from 274 million annually (from April 2011 to March 2012) to 322 million annually in 2015.[23]

Future of the franchise

On 21 January 2016 Transport for London announced that in 2021 it will take over the London suburban parts of the franchise, rebranding the routes as London Overground from that point.[25]

References

  1. "Consultation on the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise". Department for Transport. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Expanding and improving the rail network". Department for Transport. Retrieved 24 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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. 5.0 5.1 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Govia wins TSGN franchise, beating FirstGroup". Rail Technology. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Timetables : Thameslink
  9. "Siemens beats Bombardier to Thameslink train order". BBC News. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Millward, David (13 June 2013). "Bombardier blow as Siemens wins £1.6bn Thameslink deal". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 24 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Bombardier to manufacture 116 new train carriages for Thameslink rolling stock cascade" (Press release). Southern. 17 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. First Great Western plans AT300s to Cornwall Railway Gazette 23 March 2015
  13. 13.0 13.1 Topham, Gwyn (23 May 2014). "FirstGroup loses Thameslink franchise to Go-Ahead joint venture". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 24 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway)". Govia Thameslink Railway. 2-15. Retrieved 2 December 2015. Check date values in: |year= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Siemens selected to supply Moorgate suburban EMU fleet". Railway Gazette. London. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Clinnick, Richard (22 December 2015). "Siemens favoured for new GN trains". Rail. Peterborough. Retrieved 22 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Govia awarded TSGN franchise" (Press release). Govia. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "TSGN". Govia. Retrieved 24 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Proposed Thameslink service pattern" (PDF). Thameslink Programme. Retrieved 24 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Easier journeys and better information". Govia. Retrieved 11 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "New Trains". Govia. Retrieved 11 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "More reliable and faster services". Govia. Retrieved 11 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Passenger numbers by TOC".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Best and worst UK train companies". Which?.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "TfL to control all London commuter services".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by
First Capital Connect
Thameslink Great Northern franchise
Sub-brand of Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise
2014 - present
Succeeded by
Incumbent