Govia Thameslink Railway
Less than a week before the old contract expired, it was announced that the Department for Transport had awarded a national rail contract to Govia Thameslink Railway for continued operation of its services from 1 April 2022. The contract will run to 1 April 2025, with an option for DfT to extend this for up to three years. Commercial risk remains with DfT, who pay the cost of operations and take the fares income. GTR is paid £8.8m annually as a management fee, with an additional performance fee of up to £22.9m. Additional fees may be earned by undertaking projects as directed by DfT.
GTR is to focus on encouraging more people to return to the railway. Dedicated funds are available for localised station enhancements and GTR, in co-operation with Network Rail, is to improve punctuality and reliability. All that is said about rolling stock is that GTR is to work towards phasing out diesel traction by 2035 and is to introduce its first “zero emission ancillary vehicles” in the next twelve months. Nothing is said in the public announcement about the cost of operating the service, but it is hard to believe that DfT does not require economies to be made.