The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has selected Govia Thameslink for the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) rail franchising deal.

Govia is 65%-owned by Go-Ahead and 35%-owned by French firm Keolis. It already runs Southern Railways, London Midland and South Eastern train services.

UK Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: "A world-class railway is a vital part of our long-term economic plan. New state-of-the-art trains, more seats, better connections and improved stations will transform travel across London and the south-east."

Set to replace the existing Thameslink and Great Northern franchise from 14 September, the new seven-year TSGN franchise will include the South Central franchise by 26 July 2015, while a small number of services and stations will be transfered from the South Eastern franchise by 21 December.

The franchise will also improve services to destinations, including Brighton, King’s Lynn, Peterborough, Cambridge, Bedford, Luton, Gatwick Airport and Moorgate. It will additionally work on simplifying its ticketing structure, as well as improving stations, staffing and punctuality.

"A world-class railway is a vital part of our long-term economic plan."

It will manage nearly 1,400 new electric carriages by the end of 2018, providing 50% more capacity and 10,000 extra seats every weekday into central London.

A new fleet of 108 carriages will be ordered by Govia for the Gatwick Express service, which will replace the existing 25-year-old trains.

Furthermore, approximately 150 new carriages will be procured to replace the 40-year-old trains that are currently operating on the route between Moorgate, north London and Hertfordshire.

The UK Government-sponsored £6.5bn Thameslink Programme aims to transform the current layout of the station and create a platform with new tracks, which can operate larger and spacious trains to offer passengers more travel options to new destinations.

Image: A Thameslink train. Photo: courtesy of UK Department for Transport.