Responsibility for trains on the Thameslink and Great Northern routes passed from FirstGroup to Govia at 02.00, marking the moment when Britain's largest rail passenger franchise was launched. Govia Thameslink Railway, also branded GTR, will now operate trains on both sides of London for the next seven years. Some Southeastern routes will be added in December, and the present Southern network will be merged with GTR in July 2015, creating the largest rail franchise in the country. GTR, which replaces First Capital Connect, will employ around 6,500 people. On average it is expected to carry about 273 million passengers a year and earn annual revenues of approximately £1.3 billion.
The boring of the last Crossrail tunnel to be dug in east London has begun. Tunnel machine Ellie has started her 900 metre journey from Limmo Peninsula near Canning Town towards the Victoria Dock Portal in east London. It is one of Crossrail's shortest but also most complex tunnels, which must avoid other railways in the area as well as two rivers.
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