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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 April 2006, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
New firm takes on troubled trains
Thameslink train at Bedford Station
A new franchise company takes over Thameslink services
Train services heavily criticised as the most overcrowded in the country have been officially taken over.

Thameslink Trains, which ran services linking the south coast and parts of the Home Counties with London, lost its franchise to First Capital Connect.

The new operator, which takes over from Saturday, has pledged to spend more than 40m over the next three years improving reliability and trains.

Stations will have new ticket barriers, CCTV and extra parking.

As well as services from Brighton to Bedford, First Capital Connect will run the WAGN line from Kings Cross to Peterborough.

Thameslink's owners Govia was told last year it had failed in its bid to renew the franchise.

Its commuter service had been running since 1997 and had its share of critics with trouble coming to a head in a report on train overcrowding published two weeks ago.

Overcrowding back for rail users
19 Jul 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
End of disruption to Thameslink
15 May 05 |  London

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