Today marks Gatwick Express’ 35th year of operation.
Gatwick Express officially came into full service on Monday the 14th May 1984, using Class 73 electro-diesel locomotives and specially adapted Mk2 coaching stock and Class 489 driving van trailers.
Since the launch, Gatwick Express has seen radical change; in 2007 services were extended from London Victoria and Gatwick Airport to Brighton.
2015 saw the operator become part of what is the UK’s biggest rail franchise, Govia Thameslink Railway, and in 2016 it’s fleet underwent a £145m renewal programme.
How are they celebrating?
Staff are out on the network celebrating 35 years of service throughout the day. This morning, the team are at London Victoria, handing out limited edition organic tote bags, alongside a string quartet greeting passengers.
This afternoon, the team at Gatwick, accompanied by the string quartet will be giving away free cupcakes, and Angie Doll, Passenger Services Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, will be cutting into a special Gatwick Express train cake for the staff to mark the birthday.
Throughout the day a magician will be riding the rails entertaining passengers with some up-close, hands-on magic.
As part of the celebrations, the Gatwick Express team invited Geoff Marshall, to meet some of the staff that keep the Gatwick Express trains running. Watch his video here.
What did the officials say?
Head of Gatwick Express, Stephen MacCallaugh, said
“The 35-year anniversary of operations is such an exciting occasion to be part of. It makes it even more special to be celebrating this event with the team.
“The Gatwick Express family make this a wonderful place to work; we’re looking forward to getting involved in the birthday activities with passengers at Victoria and Gatwick to celebrate.”
Michael Green, On Board Supervisor, said:
“It’s the magic touches we give to our customers that set us apart. Gatwick Express has allowed me to be who I am. I often make tongue-in-cheek announcements to put a smile on the faces of my customers; most of them know me and I tailor my announcements for them.
“We want them to have the ultimate experience. We’re very family-orientated, very friendly and we always put the customer at the heart of what we do.”