Massive redevelopment of Gatwick Airport’s railway station will mean a new rail timetable is being brought in this summer.
Building work on the project is set to start in May in order to relieve overcrowding on platforms, improve accessibility and reduce delays for passengers.
The station concourse will almost double in size, connections to airport terminals will be upgraded and platforms five and six will be widened.
Meanwhile eight new escalators, five new lifts and four new stairways will be installed.
Network Rail’s building work will put platforms out of use and mean speed restrictions for trains passing through the worksite, all of which means fewer services can run.
Therefore Govia Thameslink Railway will be introducing a revised timetable for Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services for two years from May 2020.
Thameslink services will stay broadly the same as today, however some services between Three Bridges and Brighton will change with some new stops.
For Gatwick Express there will be no changes to the number of services operating during the peak weekday commuting hours of 0712-0812 (Brighton to London Victoria) and 1729-1829 (London Victoria to Brighton).
Outside these hours Gatwick Express will operate as a regular half-hourly service to and from Brighton, with almost all trains running with 12 carriages instead of eight.
Southern services from the West Coastway (Littlehampton via Hove) and East Coastway (Hastings / Eastbourne via Lewes) to London Victoria will now operate as dedicated services, most of which will no longer combine at Haywards Heath.
However off-peak Southern services between Brighton and London Victoria will no longer run.
Angie Doll, managing director of Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “With over 20million 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 alike.
“This revised temporary timetable will create room for the work at the station while retaining as many services as possible, supplemented by longer trains.”
Paul Harwood, regional investment director for Network Rail, added: “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 temporary 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.”
Stage 1: Platform 7 closed (May 2020 – Jan 2021)
Stage 2: Platforms 5 & 6 closed (Jan 2021 – May 2022)
Stage 3: Platform 3 & 4: lift and staircase are installed (Jan 2021 – Nov 2021)
Stage 4: Concourse work begins (June 2021 – May 2022)
Project completion: 2022