Keolis wins Kent rail franchise contract, First group wins Thames-link/Great Northern franchise

  • Updated7 January 2006
  • News

UK Department for Transport announced in
November several franchise contracts
awarding for regional trains.

– The Integrated Kent franchise (IKF) has
been awarded to Govia, common subsidy of
Keolis and Go Ahead as of 1 April 2006.

The IKF will include routes on the national rail
network currently operated by South
Eastern Trains throughout Kent, parts of
East Sussex and South East London. It will also
include new high-speed commuter
services from St Pancras making use of the
Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) in 2009.

This will be the first high-speed commuter
service in UK. Journey times for passengers
travelling to the centre of London will be
reduced by up to 35 minutes.

CTRL will
help support new housing and economic
opportunities in the Thames Gateway area
and beyond.

Moreover, Govia will run in
2012 the ‘Olympic Javelin’ rail service
linking St Pancras and Stratford in less than
8 minutes, that helped London secure the
Olympic Games.

The contracts amount to
€6.5 billion over 8 years and will lead to
significant improvements in the passenger
facilities, in the reliability and in the quality
of service.

– The Greater Western and Thameslink/
Great Northern franchises have been
awarded to FirstGroup plc, the UK’s largest
surface transport company.

These new
franchises, worth over £1 billion in revenue
per annum, will commence operation on
1 April 2006.

> The new Greater Western franchise,
which combines First Great Western, First
Great Western Link and Wessex Trains,
will commence on 1 April 2006 and run for
seven years with a potential extension for
three further years.

€292 million of investments
will be made in train fleet upgrade
including interior uplifts, stations enhancement,
cycle parking in every station and creation of
1700 car parking spaces.

> The Thameslink/Great Northern Franchise
will be renamed First Capital Connect
bringing together two key franchises
operating across London and the South

The franchise will run for six up to
nine years, depending upon performance

€83 million will be invested in
station improvements, including upgraded
passenger facilities and enhanced
passenger information systems, rolling stock
enhancement but also in the development of
24-hour airport services to Gatwick and Luton.