Last updated: 6 September 2021
Changes to timetables from 6 September
From Monday 6 September 2021, times of trains across our network have changed.
We have made changes to our timetables to run more trains overall and to increase services for schools and colleges. The service on many routes will be increased, however other routes will see some reductions on Mondays to Fridays.
The new timetable is designed to balance the needs of customers across the network. While more trains will run across the network compared to August 2021, some individual routes will see a reduction. This is to ensure train services are as reliable as possible at a time when our colleagues continue to be affected by the disruptive impact of coronavirus over the past eighteen months.
We will continue to monitor customer demand and respond to feedback where we can. You can find out more about the changes to the timetable on weekdays and why this change is taking place below.
Journey planners have been updated to show the revised service.
Services on Saturdays and Sundays have not been altered, but are subject to engineering work. Please check our engineering work page for more information.
Bedford to St Pancras International
There will be an overall increase in both all-station and fast trains on the route.
- Two services per hour will run all day between Bedford and Gatwick Airport via Redhill from 6 September. In combination with Thameslink services between Bedford and Brighton, there will now be up to four services per hour between Bedford and St Pancras International
- Four services per hour will run between St Albans and Sutton from 6 September, resulting in more stopping services across the route
Orpington to Luton / London Blackfriars
Fewer peak-time-only services will run between Orpington and Luton. Stations between Luton and St Pancras International have stops on the Bedford and Gatwick Airport via Redhill or St Albans to Sutton services referenced above. Customers at stations on the Catford Loop should use the all-day service between Sevenoaks and London Blackfriars.
East Grinstead to London Bridge
Some morning and evening peak Thameslink services will run, specifically the 07:15 departure from East Grinstead and the 18:11 departure from London Bridge. Southern services will continue to run. Customers travelling to/from London Bridge outside of these times will need to change trains at East Croydon.
Cambridge to King’s Cross
Two stopping trains per hour will run between Cambridge and King’s Cross during school and busy times. During the middle of the day, one of these trains per hour will not run between Cambridge and Royston, meaning an hourly service at Foxton, Shepreth and Meldreth outside of busy times.
Peterborough to King’s Cross
In the morning, there will be two semi-fast services from Peterborough to London King’s Cross departing Peterborough at 06:36 and 07:04. In the evening, there will be two semi-fast services from London King’s Cross to Peterborough departing London King’s Cross at 17:42 and 18:12. Customers at other times should use alternative Thameslink services via St Pancras International.
Gatwick Airport to London Bridge via Redhill
There will be an additional two trains per hour on this route.
Two services per hour will run all day between Bedford and Gatwick Airport via Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill, Purley, East Croydon and Norwood Junction. These trains continue to Bedford as described in the section above.
Sutton to London Blackfriars (Sutton to St Albans)
There will be an additional two trains per hour on this route, to four trains per hour in total. Two trains per hour will travel via St Helier and Tooting, and two via Hackbridge to combine to four in the Streatham to London Blackfriars / Sutton section.
Caterham and Tattenham Corner to London Bridge
Direct fast services to London Bridge will be reintroduced on this route on an every 30 minute basis.
Clapham Junction to Watford Junction and Milton Keynes
One train per hour will run between Clapham Junction and Milton Keynes throughout the day. After 18:30 services will run between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction only. At busy times, some services will be extended to / from Selhurst.
Beckenham Junction to London Bridge
Services will run between Beckenham Junction and London Bridge every 90 minutes throughout the day. Additional services will run at school times to provide improved connections in the Dulwich area.
Customers at stations such as West Norwood and seeking to travel to or from London Bridge should use the “via Norwood Junction” option in www.nationalrail.co.uk journey planners to show additional journey options.
London Bridge to London Victoria
Most services will not run on this route. Two morning peak services will operate (07:50 and 08:20 London Victoria to London Bridge) plus some late evening services. Customers should change at Norwood Junction for fast services to or from London Bridge.
Brighton to Hastings
One train per hour will run throughout the day. Most trains will run with eight, rather than four carriages.
Brighton to Hove
Fewer shuttle trains will run between Brighton and Hove, customers should use longer distance services from Brighton to and from Littlehampton, Portsmouth and Southampton.
Epsom to London Bridge via Carshalton Beeches
Fast services between Epsom and London Bridge will run every half-hour, the exception being a reduced frequency in the early morning. Trains from Epsom to London Bridge will depart at 05:45, 06:45, 07:16, 08:15 then every 30 mins until 22:45.
Uckfield to London Bridge
The hourly service from Uckfield will run as half-hourly between 06:33 and 07:33 to support peak time and school travel on the route. The service will be hourly at busy times, but will reduce to every two-hours when trains are quieter in the following periods. To illustrate this, the departure times shown will run:
- Uckfield to London Bridge: 05:31, 06:33, 07:03, 08:33, 09:33, 10:33, 12:33, 14:33, 16:33, 17:33 then hourly until 22:33
- London Bridge to Uckfield: 06:07, 07:07 08:07, 09:07, 11:07, 13:07, 15:07 then hourly 21:07, 23:07
Sutton to London Victoria via West Croydon
Up to four trains per hour will run between Sutton and London Victoria via West Croydon at busy times, with two trains per hour at quieter times. There will however be a change at busy times, with fewer trains running where there is less demand such as away from London Victoria in the morning rush hour, or towards London Victoria in the afternoon.
Like many other industries, our staffing levels are being severely affected by the pandemic right now. This is especially true as we’ve seen the third wave across the UK this summer acutely affecting our people in July and August. This has affected our colleagues in line with the national trend seen right across the country.
The challenge remains a mix of coronavirus-related absence and the knock-on impact of disruption to our businesses and people over the past year where, for example, essential training has been delayed or there are some colleagues waiting for NHS operations before they can go back to their duties. This means many companies just don’t have all the staff available that they usually would. We're also seeing far less people travel overall - less than 50% of what we used to.
We are all living with the legacy of Covid and getting colleagues back on track in the short term is challenging. Changes to rules around Test and Trace will help but are not an overnight fix.
However, by introducing a new timetable, this does help us manage these issues better and has reduced the number of short notice cancellations, which we know are hugely frustrating for customers.
How far in advance can I plan my journey?
You will be able to plan journeys up to 12 weeks in advance. Please note that changes due to planned engineering work will be made closer to the date of operation. See below.
Our timetables (which are at the bottom of this page) have also been updated to show the changes listed above. Please note that changes due to engineering work, or on the day disruption are not shown in our timetables. Wherever you plan your journey, it's important that you check again before you travel for the latest information using the journey planner at nationalrail.co.uk.
How do I find out about engineering works?
Due to Coronavirus, planning engineering work is harder than usual. Always check your journey before you travel, as there may be changes to services due to engineering work and any local disruption on the day. Online journey planners may only be updated with works close to when they are due to happen.
In order to keep you informed we will continue to advise you when engineering work alterations have been updated. As soon as the information is available, details of work taking place will be advertised on our engineering work page here. Information on when online journey planners are currently correct up to is available here.
When will services change in the future?
We are keeping the current situation under weekly review and will update you if any further changes will be made.
For details of the availability of advance fares, please visit the advance ticket availability information here. If your pre-booked journey is changed, for example the time is amended, then you can either continue to travel on the revised timetable or apply for a refund.