Thameslink (Train Operating Company 1997-2006)

Thameslink (Train Operating Company 1997-2006)

Thameslink was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by Govia that operated the Thameslink franchise between March 1997 and March 2006.

The franchise was originally due to end on 31 March 2004, however a two-year extension was awarded to Govia by the Strategic Rail Authority on 13 February 2004. In December 2005, the Department for Transport awarded the new franchise to FirstGroup; thus the services operated by Thameslink were transferred to First Capital Connect on 1 April 2006.

Thameslink Services

Thameslink operated passenger services from Bedford via the Thameslink route to London Moorgate, Sutton, Wimbledon and Brighton.

Thameslink Rolling Stock

Thameslink inherited a fleet of 66 Class 319s from Network SouthEast.

During 2002, Thameslink hired two Class 317s from West Anglia Great Northern for services to Moorgate. Thameslink received some extra Class 319s from Southern in 2004.

Between September 2004 and May 2005, Class 317s were hired from West Anglia Great Northern to operate Bedford to St Pancras services while the Thameslink line was severed for six months for the new St Pancras station to be built.

  • 317   Electric Multiple Unit


  • 319   Electric Multiple Unit

1987–1988, 1990

Thameslink Depots

Thameslink's fleet was originally maintained at Selhurst Depot under sub-contract by Connex South Central/Southern. With the Thameslink line to be severed for six months, Bedford Cauldwell depot was built in 2004. It progressively took over all work from Selhurst.

Thameslink Demise

Original Thameslink signage is still visible on the Sutton Loop Line.
In April 2005, the Strategic Rail Authority announced the parties shortlisted to bid for the new Thameslink Great Northern franchise; Govia was not shortlisted.

In December 2005, the Department for Transport awarded the new franchise to FirstGroup. Accordingly, the services that were operated by Thameslink were transferred to First Capital Connect on 1 April 2006.

However, it was announced in May 2014 that Govia had reclaimed the Thameslink franchise, which started on 14 September 2014, thus ending the First Capital Connect franchise. Govia now operates Thameslink under Govia Thameslink Railway.

Thameslink (Train Operating Company 1997–2006) Overview

Thameslink Franchise(s): Thameslink
2 March 1997 - 31 March 2006

Thameslink Main Station(s): Bedford, King's Cross,

Thameslink Other Station(s): Luton Airport, Blackfriars,
London Bridge, Gatwick Airport,

Thameslink Fleet Size: 74 Class 319
Thameslink Stations Called At: 56 (26 operated)
Thameslink Parent Company: Govia (Go-Ahead/Keolis)
Thameslink Reporting Mark: TR
Thameslink Predecessor: Network SouthEast
Thameslink Successor: First Capital Connect
Thameslink Track Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge
Thameslink Electrification: 750 V DC third rail (South of Farringdon)
25 kV 50 Hz AC Overhead (North of City Thameslink)


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