Timetable Shakeup For Govia Thameslink

19 September 2016, 10:07 | Updated: 19 September 2016, 10:44

Govia Thameslink Railway consults on ‘biggest timetable shake-up in a generation’

  • 2018 timetable provides new connections, many faster journeys and increased capacity for expanded Thameslink network
  • New direct routes between Brighton, Gatwick Airport and Cambridge
  • New Thameslink routes through London Bridge from Kent Medway towns
  • New trains and more frequent metro services for Great Northern
  • Greater reliability planned for Southern services


Train firm Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) wants passengers’ views on the biggest timetable shake-up proposed in a generation that promises to boost capacity and expand the cross-London Thameslink network.


In 2018, services across the Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express routes will be completely recast with many new connections between communities in the south of England to stations in the heart of London and beyond, to Bedford, Peterborough and Cambridge.


There would be greater reliability on Southern inner London services, new Thameslink services via London Bridge from Kent stations such as Maidstone East, Greenwich and Dartford, and a massive increase in Thameslink trains at London Bridge. There will be 80% more peak time seats between Blackfriars and St Pancras International across central London and 19% (1,000) extra seats through longer Thameslink trains from Brighton.


Passengers can download fact sheets and see what it means for their home station at any one of these websites www.thameslinkrailway.com/2018consultation, www.southernrailway.com/2018consultation, www.gatwickexpress.com/2018consultation or www.greatnorthernrail.com/2018consultation or request paper copies by post (see editor’s notes).


The consultation runs until 8 December and GTR teams are visiting stations across the network to raise awareness and ensure as many people as possible have an opportunity to respond.


Phil Hutchinson, who is leading the timetable development and consultation for GTR, said:


“We are proposing a complete redesign of the timetable by looking at which journeys are most important to passengers. We are creating more capacity and new cross London routes with connections to Crossrail and more punctual and reliable services. Operationally, each route would be self-contained so that if a problem occurs it does not affect other routes.


“We want passengers and stakeholders to help us shape their future train service so we are consulting, we think, earlier than any train operator has before. This is a real opportunity for passengers and stakeholders get involved in an open, honest and transparent conversation about what the train service should be in the future.”


“This is about creating better connections and more capacity. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restructure the timetable to give passengers more trains and the much better reliability we all want. Ultimately this will put the Thameslink route at the heart of the UK rail network.”


Highlights include:

On Thameslink north, from Bedford (see fact sheet):

  • More frequent trains at most stations from Bedford to London
  • 50% more off-peak semi-fast trains from Luton via Elstree & Borehamwood

On Kent Thameslink (see fact sheet):

  • New Thameslink services across central London via London Bridge from Greenwich, Dartford and Medway Towns, providing connections with the new east to west Crossrail (Elizabeth Line), St Pancras International and DLR
  • New, all-day, Thameslink services between Maidstone East and Cambridge, via London Bridge, providing connections with the new east to west Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) and St Pancras International
  • Thameslink off-peak frequency doubled on the Catford loop stations, from Bickley and Bromley South to Blackfriars

On Southern (see this fact sheet, this fact sheet, and this fact sheet)

  • Littlehampton, Horsham and East Grinstead services to London Bridge will transfer to Thameslink in 2018, and continue through central London, to Bedford and Peterborough, creating a direct link to Crossrail at Farringdon with connections to St Pancras International and Luton Airport
  • More capacity and better reliability through a range of improvements designed to make routes self-contained and easier to operate. This will reduce the domino effect in times of disruption and result in a more reliable service
  • New all-day service between Epsom, Sutton, West Croydon & London Bridge
  • Longer 10-carriage trains on Surrey’s Caterham & Tattenham Corner routes
  • Improvements for Redhill including a return of trains to London Bridge with faster journey times in the off-peak

On Great Northern (see this fact sheet and this fact sheet):

  • New direct services from Cambridge and Peterborough to Gatwick Airport and beyond
  • Creates additional direct links to Maidstone from Cambridge
  • Double the number of Peterborough semi-fast and Cambridge semi-fast and stopping off-peak services
  • Much more frequent service on the metro stopping services between Hertford, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Moorgate in London:
    • Hertford Loop: Off peak frequency is proposed to double from 3tph to 6tph all day, Monday to Saturday and from 2tph to 4tph on Sundays
    • Welwyn Garden City: Off peak and Saturday frequency will increase from 3tph (weekdays) and 2tph (weekends) to 4tph all day, all week
    • Plus, into Moorgate, a new fleet of fixed length six-carriage trains (many run with three carriages today) that replace one of the oldest classes of train in the country – the 40-year-old Class 313.
    • New air-conditioned trains and potential doubling of frequencies at Ely from 2017