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First Capital Connect extension on Thameslink route
11:10am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
First Capital Connect has been handed a 28-week extension on its Thameslink route from Brighton.
The rail company has run the line since 2006 and was due to see its contract end in September this year.
The extension is allowed under the terms of its contract with the Department for Transport (DfT), which also announced it is resuming the competition for the route.
FCC confirmed it is in talks with the department to operate it for another two years after the end of the 28-week period.
First Capital Connect managing director Neal Lawson said: “We have demonstrated our ability to manage complex projects such as the Thameslink Programme and look forward to working closely with the DfT and our industry partners to deliver more much-needed new capacity and route improvements.”
Passenger Focus, a group representing the interests of rail users, welcomed the announcement for the stability it would give passengers in the short term but said improvements must not be put on hold while contracts are renegotiated.
Anthony Smith, its chief executive, said: “The passenger voice must be at the heart of franchising.”
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