GTR consults passengers on new improved timetable

Date: 19 Sep 2016

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 via website link above):
• More frequent trains at most stations from Bedford to London
• 50% more off-peak semi-fast trains at St Albans, Radlett, Elstree & Borehamwood and Mill Hill Broadway with improved journey times from Luton
On Kent Thameslink (see fact sheet via website link above):
• 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 fact sheets via website links above)
• 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 fact sheets via website link above):
• 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:
     o 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
     o 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

Ends

Editor’s notes
For more information email press.office@gtrailway.com or call 0203 750 203.

The new timetable is needed to facilitate the expansion of the Thameslink network in 2018 and will enable passengers to benefit from the major investment of the Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme. This expansion is in part enabled by the completion of work at London Bridge which will allow many more Thameslink trains to operate through the station, removing a major bottleneck in the rail network.

Paper copies of the documents are also available by writing to:
GTR Timetable Consultation
c/o East Side Offices
London Kings Cross Station
N1C 4AP

For those who would like to speak to us directly, members of the 2018 Timetable Planning team will be at the following “meet the managers” events that are scheduled during the consultation period:

• London Victoria, Thursday 13 October 07:30 - 09:30
• London Blackfriars, Thursday 20 October 16:30 - 19:00
• London Kings Cross, Tuesday 8 November 16:30 - 19:00
• London Bridge, Thursday 10 November, 07:30 - 09:30
• London St Pancras Intl, Thursday 8 December, 07:30 - 09:30

The team will also be present at the following “meet the managers” events held by Southeastern:

• London Charing Cross – Tuesday 11 October 2016 between 0730 and 0930
• London Cannon Street – Tuesday 8 November 2016 between 0730 and 0930
• London Bridge – Tuesday 6 December 2016 between 0730 and 0930

The team are also planning to be at the following stations during the consultation period to answer any questions:

• Bedford , Tuesday 4 October 17:00 - 19:00
• Brighton, Thursday 6 October 17:00 - 19:00
• Cambridge, Wednesday 12 October 17:00 - 19:00
• Dartford, Monday 31 October 17:00 - 19:00
• Greenwich, Tuesday 1 November 06:30 - 09:00
• Maidstone East, Tuesday 29 November 06:30 - 09:00
• Reigate , Wednesday 23 November 17:00 - 19:00
• Stevenage, Thursday 13 October 06:30 - 09:00
• St Albans City, Wednesday 5 October 06:30 - 09:00.

Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
• Thameslink – services between Bedford and Brighton, Luton/St Albans and Sutton, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks
• Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
• Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
• Gatwick Express – Fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

GTR is now the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff: GTR carries about 326 million passenger journeys per year, employs around 6,500 people and generates annual passenger revenues of approximately £1.3bn.

The GTR investment programme for stations includes funding for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, new retail facilities, help points and car park improvements – as well as plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.
southernrailway.com, gatwickexpress.com, thameslinkrailway.com greatnorthernrail.com