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Gatwick

Gatwick Station prepares for two years of intensive transformation work

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A £150m upgrade to Gatwick Station is due to commense this May that will see that station transform.

Network Rail say that the works will mean that a new dedicated timetable will be released soon that will allow commuters to still be able to use the station whilst the works are undertaken.

Customers using the station have increased rapidly over the past ten years from around 13m in 2010 to now over 20m.

The aim of the station upgrade is to double the size of the station concourse, adding a new glass-roofed concourse over three of the platforms, refit the existing concourse and add a new separate building which will create more space for customers.

In addition the works will also improve customer access escpecially for wheelchair users and those with luggage.

These changes should reduce overcrowding as well as reduce train delays across the network.

As with any works undertake at stations there will be changes to timetables and there will also be speed restrictions implemented during the two years of works.

A full timetable is expected to be released on the 23rd Feb 2020 but Southern Rail has released a summary of their plans which would run from the 18th May 2020:

  • Thameslink services will stay broadly the same as today, however some services between Three Bridges and Brighton will change with some new stops
  • Gatwick Express, there is no change to the number of services operating during the peak weekday commuting hours of 0712-0812 (Brighton to London Victoria) and 1729-1829 (London Victoria to Brighton). Outside these hours Gatwick Express will operate as a regular half-hourly service to and from Brighton, with almost all trains running with twelve carriages instead of eight
  • Southern services from the West Coastway (Littlehampton via Hove) and East Coastway (Hastings / Eastbourne via Lewes) to London Victoria will now operate as dedicated services, most of which will no longer combine at Haywards Heath. We need to make this change to deliver the upgrade.
    This means each route will operate with longer 8-carriage trains throughout most of the day, instead of 4-carriage trains, providing twice as much space on-board and much more passenger space on the busiest sections of the network. West Coastway services will make new station stops at Preston Park (increasing services to half hourly), Hassocks and Burgess Hill, and East Coastway services will make extra station stops at Wivelsfield, introducing a new half-hourly service in both directions.
    To achieve this, Southern off-peak services from London Victoria will no longer run direct to or from Brighton. Passengers to/from Brighton to London will need to either use direct Gatwick Express or Thameslink services or change at stations such as East Croydon, Haywards Heath or Preston Park
  • Other services which operate via Gatwick Airport such as Southern services via Horsham towards Portsmouth Harbour will not be significantly impacted by the works, but timings may change slightly

You can find out more about the upgrade at https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/sussex/upgrading-the-brighton-main-line/gatwick-airport-station-upgrade/

Gatwick

New two year train timetable for Gatwick is released as work on new station prepares to begin

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The £150m essential upgrade of Gatwick Airport station by Network Rail to relieve crowding, improve accessibility and reduce delays for commuters and leisure travellers across the South East will see Southern trains doubled in length along coastal routes to Eastbourne, Hastings, Worthing and Littlehampton.

A two-year temporary timetable to make space for the building work, due to start on 17 May and now available online to see, will provide much-needed relief for passengers on the congested coastal routes.

Additionally, Cooksbridge will have its first-ever all-week service as trains begin calling at the station on Sundays. This is a permanent change.

Also, on Saturdays, there will be an extra Thameslink service every hour between Brighton and Cambridge and the extension of an existing Sunday Cambridge to Gatwick Airport service through to Brighton. This will mean additional services at Brighton, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Balcombe, Three Bridges, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, London Bridge and through to Cambridge.

Further changes to Southern and Gatwick Express services are also required. There will be no off-peak Southern services between Brighton and London Victoria, but passengers will be able to travel with Gatwick Express, using Southern’s Super Off-Peak and Kids for £2 fares, which will be eligible on these services.

In the busiest commuter hour in each of the morning and evening peaks, Gatwick Express services will stay the same. Outside this time there will be two fewer Gatwick Express trains each hour, but the remaining trains will be lengthened to compensate and, from the airport, there will still be six Southern trains every hour to Victoria and eight more Thameslink trains to London Bridge providing sufficient space.

Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink is committed to helping passengers with information around the changes and will be running a comprehensive awareness campaign in the coming months.

Passengers can meanwhile check details online at Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express websites. Trains are also be available to view in online journey planners at nationalrail.co.uk.

Angie Doll, Managing Director of Southern and Gatwick Express, said:

“With over 20m passengers now using Gatwick station every year, this upgrade is essential to address overcrowding, improve accessibility and maintain a sustainable, reliable and punctual rail service for visitors and commuters along the route.

“This revised temporary timetable will create room for the work at the station while doubling the length of trains along the coast and retaining as many services as possible, supplemented by additional longer trains, ensuring we still have the services and capacity for our passengers.

“Gatwick supports the economy of the entire South East, bringing international travellers and trade to the region worth £2.7bn, supporting 70,000 jobs.”

Emma Rees, Head of Surface Transport, Gatwick Airport, said:

“A £150m upgrade to Gatwick Airport station is essential to meet growing demand and to reduce delays on the Brighton Mainline and wider region by tackling overcrowding at the station. The size of the station concourse will double, and it will become much easier for passengers to access the railway and airport through wider platforms, five new lifts, eight new escalators, new staircases and a new station entrance.”

Paul Harwood, regional investment director for Network Rail, said:

“The continued popularity and convenience of travelling by rail to Gatwick Airport means the station is now seeing more passengers than it was ever designed to handle. With further growth forecast, the station is in urgent need of improvement so that rail travel to and from the airport can continue to grow and help Gatwick support the local economy even more.

“The timetable changes will enable this vital construction work, allowing us to make the station safer, more accessible and capable of supporting smoother journeys for more trains and passengers long into the future.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:

“Gatwick Airport is the first stop for millions of people visiting the UK, and these upgrades will relieve overcrowding, improve accessibility and reduce delays for holidaymakers and commuters.

“We will closely monitor these works to ensure improvements are completed on time and passenger disruption is kept to a minimum.

“Once complete, the expanded, modern station will be an impressive gateway to Global Britain.”

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