Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates the Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express airport services has been granted a new rail contract, replacing its franchise agreement which had been due to expire this month.

As with most rail operators, GTR had been under a franchise, but was operating under an Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement due to the pandemic. The company has now been granted a National Rail Contract (NRC), which is comparable to the previous agreement and is seen as a stepping stone to the planned management contracts being planned by Great British Railways.

The new contract commences on 1 April 2022 and will run until at least 1 April 2025, with up to a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion.

Under the terms of the agreement, GTR will earn a fixed management fee of £8.8 million per annum (equivalent to 0.5% of GTR’s cost base), with an additional performance fee of up to £22.9 million per annum. Those percentages are roughly comparable to the margins the company was earning in the years before the pandemic.

The agreement does not include Southeastern, which was stripped from GTR last year after serious misreporting of its finances was uncovered by the Department for Transport.

GTR is a subsidiary of Govia, which is itself a joint venture between the British Go-Ahead Group (65%) and French company Keolis (35%).


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  1. Eric says:

    GTR and Southeastern have always been separate.
    GoVia, the parent company, lost Southeastern but GTR was not “stripped” of it because it never had it to begin with.

  2. John Usher says:

    So what will happen to the proposal to move Great Northern to TfL?

  3. Richard Aspden says:

    Decisions like this is why we don’t get nice things.

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