First Capital Connect franchise to end early

TRAIN operator First Capital Connect (FCC) will see its franchise end 18 months earlier than expected.

Instead of 2015 when the Thameslink Project was originally due for completion, the end of the franchise has been brought forward to September 2013 to marry it up with the expected 2018 finish of the project which is intended to reduce overcrowding and run far more trains through London.

Originally FCC had been promised an interim franchise until 2018 when the Thameslink Project is due for completion.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has told the Stock Market that the current franchise will now end in September 2013 to ensure continuity through to the completion of the project and possibly into its early years in operation.

Neal Lawson, FCC’s managing director, said: “We have been involved with the Thameslink Programme since the very beginning and have enjoyed a positive working relationship with the Department for Transport.

“I would like to assure our customers that it is still business as usual at FCC and we will be working hard to deliver even greater benefits, such as 12 car trains, to the end of the franchise.”