Southern brand to disappear?

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According to a source all of Southern will all be branded Thameslink possibly as early as next year even if Govia take over and eventually 5 operators will merge into one including SWT.

Is this really true?
 
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ainsworth74

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Is this really true?

It does seem to be the plan that the Thameslink franchise will take over the current Southern operation (or at least parts of it at least with the remainder going to somewhere like SWT) but I don't think it's planned for as soon as next year.
 

ushawk

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Yes FCC, Southern and a few SE routes will all merge - but it will all ultimately depend on what the new franchise owner names the company. If it was Govia, they may as well just keep the Southern name. Gatwick Express will stay in 1 form or another i would have thought as well.

Dont see why the whole new franchise should be called Thameslink - when most of it wont even use that route.

As for SWT merging with other operators, cant see that happening at all.
 

DaveNewcastle

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SprinterMan

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This whole thing is absurd. Southern should merge with Southeastern and the TL half of FCC and that should be it. The Southern name should be retained. Having said that, the DFT's big plan is probably to withdraw all the 375/377s to cut costs, and give the franchise to NX.....
 

tbtc

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From DfT Rail Franchising Timetable - as at 01 March 2012

The new Thameslink franchise will include all services currently operated by First Capital Connect from Sept 2013; some services currently operated by Southeastern at a point between April and Dec 2014; and include all services operated by the current Southern Franchise from July 2015.

assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/rail-franchising-timetable/rail-franchising-timetable-20120301.pdf

The bit that intrigues me is the part I've highlighted about "some" Southeastern services. Fair enough the current Sevenoaks service through the TL core will move over, but how much of the Southeastern franchise could be moved over before it becomes uneconomically small?

At least with other TOCs you could shift the boundaries around, but the English Chanel/ coast means that there's not a lot of scope for Southeastern to take any more on (if the TL merger means an uneconomical rump would be left over).
 

Chris125

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If Go-ahead win i think there's a very good chance they'll retain the Southern and Thameslink brands in one way or another, and i expect a new operator would keep them seperate too - with many years of negative headlines to look forward to as the project is finished off, the staff are combined and they have to get to get to grips with an intensive ATO service im sure they'll want to avoid polluting the relatively well regarded 'Southern' brand/South Central franchise if at all possible.

Chris
 

DaveNewcastle

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The bit that intrigues me is the part I've highlighted about "some" Southeastern services.
Does this help?
The Thameslink franchise will:
  • include all services that are currently operated by the First Capital Connect (FCC) franchise from September 2013;
  • at a point between April and December 2014 the franchise would include some services currently operated by Southeastern. These services would be all those that are jointly operated by FCC and Southeastern at present, and some further current Southeastern services which may be transferred to enable the implementation of the full Thameslink service operations;
  • include all the services operated by the current Southern franchise at some time between July 2014 and July 2017;
  • operate until 2020 (unless the Secretary of State exercises her contractual rights to extend beyond this date) allowing for the Thameslink programme infrastructure works to be completed, the new Thameslink programme rolling stock to be fully deployed, the new train control systems to be commissioned and the future Thameslink timetable to be implemented.
From assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/rail-passenger-franchise-thameslink/thameslink-ojeu-notice.pdf

and this ?
South Eastern

The vast majority of Southeastern services will remain within the Southeastern franchise but, progressively from 2014 onwards, the Thameslink franchisee will take responsibility for those services currently jointly operated by FCC and Southeastern; and also for those Southeastern services which will become Thameslink services when the full Thameslink timetable is implemented in December 2018.
From Schedule 1 of Pre-qualification questionnaire
 
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swt_passenger

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It does seem to be the plan that the Thameslink franchise will take over the current Southern operation (or at least parts of it at least with the remainder going to somewhere like SWT) but I don't think it's planned for as soon as next year.

There is no effect on SWT at all. Don't know where you've heard that. As others have said, it is all of Southern that merges, and only a relatively small part of Southeastern.

However as discussed when this was first announced, it isn't as simple as just calling the combined franchise Thameslink. That would be an illogical operating name for the many non-Thameslink SN services into Victoria and London Bridge, and the east and west coastways etc etc...
 

Class377/5

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Don't see why they won't be branded different. After all Southern and Gatwick Express are the same franchise.

What I'd like to see is a single branding post merger with blue version for Thameslink (Desiro Cities/ 700), green for Southern services (313/377/442) and purple for Great Northern (313/365).
 
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I am hoping Southern do not disappear, as they have some of the best tickets available for days out, Daysave and Downlander for instance, which I think no other provider has anything similar.
 

IanXC

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Don't see why they won't be branded different. After all Southern and Gatwick Express are the same franchise.

Shhh! Don't give them ideas, we'll end up with Thameslink Only fares to add to the 'are Southern Only fares valid on Gatwick Express' problem!

 

HSTEd

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This whole thing is absurd. Southern should merge with Southeastern and the TL half of FCC and that should be it. The Southern name should be retained. Having said that, the DFT's big plan is probably to withdraw all the 375/377s to cut costs, and give the franchise to NX.....

The only things in FCC that won't be thameslink after the programme is finished are the Moorgate trains and the Cambridge Flyers.
 

Aictos

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The only things in FCC that won't be thameslink after the programme is finished are the Moorgate trains and the Cambridge Flyers.

What makes you say that? There's been nothing concrete stating that in fact until the DfT states otherwise, these services are staying with Greater Thameslink.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I was at Bognor Regis station and at Littlehampton station last week whilst on a holiday visit and asked a few of the locals what they thought about the name of Southern changing to Thameslink in those areas.

Shocked dis-belief would be the kindest way of describing the reaction of those that I spoke to....some used rather stronger language to express their feelings.
 

Stats

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With the Cambridge Flyers planned to be operated using IEP stock I think it makes sense for them to transfer to East Coast at that point.
 

Mojo

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How does this fit in with the desire of a number of candidates for the post of Mayor of London to have a number of urban services presently franchised by the DfT to Tocs transferred to being brought under the control of TfL?
 

jopsuk

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It makes unlikely to happen before 2020 unless there are negotiations to move services, staff and stock from the new franchise midway through its term- not impossible, after all the transfer of SouthEastern services is mid-franchise.

Remeber, this is an interim franchise that in part covers the introduction of the new stock, much of the London Bridge disruption and the connection of the GN to Thameslink. The map may well be heavily redrawn once more at the end of the franchise.

Southeastern ends 2014, SWT ends 2017
 

ntg

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It could happen in 2014 it seems for South Eastern and Greater Anglia apparently. If that's true then it could also hold for Thameslink as well. Boris really does seem determined to gain control of all the rail services regardless of how far into the home counties they go...this would seem to be a perfect opportunity for TfL to assume control over them.

I can imagine some unpleasant implications of this though. The London Assembly having power over rail services into Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire (somewhat undemocratic), what sort of state the tube map will be in assuming this all gets lumped in with LO, if it does (will it?). Smells quite RER-y anyway.
 
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Bald Rick

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The service spec for the new franchise, which shortlisted bidders are working on right now, includes all Southern's inner suburban routes, and all the GN routes from KX / Moorgate currently operated by FCC, including the Cambridge flyer. Boris / Ken (subject to result!) will not be getting his hands on the suburban parts at this franchise change. Also the Cambridge / Lynn services are more than likely never to see IEP as the trains are rather expensive for this type of operation, as are the infrastruture works north of Cambridge for one train an hour.

Branding of the franchise and the routes contained within will be a matter for the winner.
 

swt_passenger

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With the Cambridge Flyers planned to be operated using IEP stock I think it makes sense for them to transfer to East Coast at that point.

That's been binned. It was in one of the clarification Q&As for the Thameslink franchise, available on DfT's website.

Bidders are no longer required to use IEP, they can do their own thing. They have also been told to plan on the basis that the route is staying with the franchise.

There is absolutley nothing in the franchise consultation spec that indicates the Moorgate routes will be transferred to LO either. This seems to be wishful thinking, as usual...
 

Clip

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A spokesman for Ken Livingstone commented: “The agreement that Londoners really need to know about is by how much Johnson has promised the Tory government he will raise fares each year.”
.

Yawn. Is that the best they could come out with rather than actually saying something supportive given that he has said he would do the same if he wins today.
 

swt_passenger

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What I'd like to see is a single branding post merger with blue version for Thameslink (Desiro Cities/ 700), green for Southern services (313/377/442) and purple for Great Northern (313/365).

That could work well - it would be very similar to how SWT have three main versions of their livery - even though it won't be until the 458/460 conversion completes that they'll be properly in the blue outer suburban colour.
 

tsr

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I was at Bognor Regis station and at Littlehampton station last week whilst on a holiday visit and asked a few of the locals what they thought about the name of Southern changing to Thameslink in those areas.

Shocked dis-belief would be the kindest way of describing the reaction of those that I spoke to....some used rather stronger language to express their feelings.

That reaction does not surprise me in the slightest, but given the fact that services from both those stations to London will probably result in a crossing of the Thames to/from London Victoria, I would imagine that TOCs might decide the branding might be justified extremely tenuously and vaguely, even if the TL Core itself isn't used.

I can see Victoria-Horsham via Dorking being fully transferred to SWT in future, Redhill-Tonbridge could go back to SET, and some of the Coastway services that don't involve London could be transferred to SWT on the West and SET on the East. These ideas have been floating around for a while. I reckon a good name for the remainder of Southern and all of Thameslink would be, well, London South Central Railway? Greater London & Southern Railway? Hmmm...
 
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