This article is about the United Kingdom transport company. For the form of free-flow tolling for Queensland Motorways in Australia, see go via.
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%)

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.


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. Keolis is the biggest private operator of public transport in France and a major worldwide operator of transport services.

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 did not 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] Govia unsuccessfully bid for the Northern franchise in 2015.[9][10]

Current operations

Govia currently operate three franchises:[11]

Previous operations

Govia previously ran rail franchises through the following companies:

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 also lodged an unsuccessful bid for the TransPennine Express franchise in 2015, but this was not being done through Govia, with Keolis holding a majority shareholding.[10]


External links

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