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First Capital Connect
Thameslink/Great Northern

This franchise combined two contracts. One was the former Thameslink franchise and the other was the Great Northern routes of WAGN. (The West Anglia routes had become part of Greater Anglia in 2004.)

The shortlisted bidders were National Express plc, FirstGroup plc, Stagecoach Group plc, MTR/Laing and DSB/EWS.

The Thameslink/GN franchise was awarded while the core route through central London was poised to receive a major upgrade – originally Thameslink 2000 and later renamed the Thameslink Programme. This is now underway, with completion dates between 2015 and 2018. On 5 August 2011, the Department for Transport announced that the termination date would be brought forward to 2013. However, the review of franchising which followed the collapse of the West Coast competition in October 2012 was followed by a further revision, and the FCC franchise was extended by seven railway reporting periods, or 28 weeks, to April 2014, and then again to 14 September 2014.

start date
1 April 2006
end date
14 September 2014

owned by
GB Railways Group PLC/FirstGroup plc

legal title
First Capital Connect Ltd

service area
Commuter and outer suburban services. Bedford-St Pancras International-Gatwick Airport-Brighton, London King's Cross-Hertford North-Stevenage/Peterborough/Cambridge-King's Lynn, Luton-St Pancras International-Wimbledon/Sutton, plus some journeys operated jointly with Southeastern between Bedford/Luton/Kentish Town and Sevenoaks/Ashford.


was replaced by
Govia Thameslink Railway


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