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Limited company
Industry Public transport
Founded November 1996
Headquarters Newcastle upon Tyne
Area served
United Kingdom
Products Train services
Owner Go-Ahead (65%)
Keolis (35%)
Website .info.goviawww

Govia[1] is a transport company based in the United Kingdom. It was formed in November 1996 as a joint venture between Go-Ahead (65%) and Keolis (35%) to bid for rail franchises during the privatisation of British Rail.


  • History 1
  • Current operations 2
  • Previous operations 3
  • Future operations 4
  • Other operations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Thameslink Class 319 at St Albans station in November 2014

Established in 1986, the Go-Ahead Group has its roots in North East England where it was formed as Go-Ahead Northern during the de-regulation of the bus industry.

As part of the privatisation of British Rail, the Thames Trains franchise was awarded to Victory Rail Holdings,[2] a company owned by Go-Ahead (65%) and some ex British Rail managers (35%), with operations commencing on 13 October 1996.[3] Go-Ahead bought the remaining shares it didn't own in June 1998.[4]

Go-Ahead formed a joint venture with Keolis and were awarded the Thameslink franchise with operations commencing on 2 March 1997. Upon being retendered, the franchise passed to First Capital Connect on 1 April 2006. Govia also unsuccessfully bid for the Regional Railways North West and ScotRail franchises.

In August 2001, Govia commenced operating the Southern franchise adopting the Southern.[5][6] In April 2006, Govia commenced operating the Southeastern franchise. In November 2007, Govia commenced operating the London Midland franchise and in May 2014, the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise.[7][8]

Current operations

Govia currently operate four rail franchises:[9]

Previous operations

Goiva previously ran rail franchises through the following companies:

Future operations

Govia have been shortlisted to bid for the Northern Rail franchise from February 2016.[15][16]

Other operations

The partners have also bid for other franchises separately. Keolis has held a 45% shareholding in First TransPennine Express since February 2004, and in 2012 bid for the InterCity West Coast franchise in partnership with SNCF. Go-Ahead bid for the Greater Anglia franchise.[17]

The partners are also bidding for the TransPennine Express franchise, but this is not being done through Govia, with Keolis holding a majority shareholding in the bid company.[16]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3278419 Govia Limited
  2. ^ Companies House extract company no 3147927 Victory Rail Holdings Limited
  3. ^ Go-Ahead annual report 1997 Go-Ahead Group plc 28 June 1997
  4. ^ Go-Ahead annual report 1998 Go-Ahead Group plc 27 June 1998
  5. ^ Retention of South Central franchise Go-Ahead 9 June 2009
  6. ^ More frequent and more secure rail services for London and the South East Department for Transport 9 June 2009
  7. ^ About Us Govia
  8. ^ Govia wins Thameslink rail franchise BBC News 23 May 2014
  9. ^ Our Companies Govia
  10. ^ Companies House extract company no 7934306 Govia Thameslink Railway Limited
  11. ^ Companies House extract company no 5814584 London & Birmingham Railway Limited
  12. ^ Companies House extract company no 4860660 London & South Eastern Railway Limited
  13. ^ Department for Transport Announces Winner of Thameslink/GN Franchise Department for Transport Press Release 13 December 2005
  14. ^ Companies House extract company no 6574965 Southern Railway Limited
  15. ^ Northern Govia
  16. ^ a b Shortlist for Northern and Transpennine Express rail operators revealed Department for Transport 19 August 2014
  17. ^ Shortlisted Bidders For Greater Anglia And Intercity West Coast Rail Franchises Department for Transport 24 March 2011

External links

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