Changes to trains as £150m upgrade of Gatwick Airport soon begins

changes for rebuild at gatwick airport station
Credit: GTR

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Network Rail has announced that the £150m upgrade of Gatwick Airport station will aim to improve accessibility and reduce delays for passengers across the South East.

Southern trains will also double in length along coastal routes to Eastbourne, Hastings, Worthing and Littlehampton.

There will be a two-year temporary timetable to make space for the building work, which is due to start on the 17th May.

Cooksbridge will also have its first-ever all-week service as trains begin calling at the station on Sundays for the foreseeable future.

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 means that there will be additional services at Brighton, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Balcombe, Three Bridges, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, London Bridge and through to Cambridge.

There will be no off-peak Southern services between Brighton and London Victoria, but passengers can travel with Gatwick Express, using Southern’s Super Off-Peak and Kids for £2 fares.

Gatwick Express services will stay the same for peak morning and evening services, however, outside this time there will be two fewer Gatwick Express trains each hour, but the remaining trains will be lengthened to compensate for this. From Gatwick airport, there will be six Southern trains every hour to Victoria and eight more Thameslink trains to London Bridge, which provide additional capacity.

Southern, Gatwick Express and Govia Thameslink will provide sufficient information around the changes and will be running a comprehensive awareness campaign in the coming months.

Passengers can also check the details online at Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express websites.

What did the officials say?

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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2 COMMENTS

  1. With more extra platforms to reduce congestion and overcrowding. About time that Gatwick Airport main railway station needs a huge redevelopment. Will Coventry also have its railway station redeveloped with extra platforms. And same goes with East Croydon.

  2. Plus Gatwick Express could inherit the Class 387/3s from c2c that are on hire and to send Class 387/1 387105 back to Great Northern as it’s been on loan for few years. When the Class 720/6 10-Car units enters service on c2c from next year.

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