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Last updated: 20:09

Trains and train service

Got a question about trains and our train service at Gatwick Express? Find the answers here...

Are your trains accessible for people with disabilities?

All of our trains are accessible for people with disabilities.

We offer an assisted travel service if you need help at our stations to get the train.

Find out more about and arrange assistance

Find out more in our making rail accessible policy

Can I sit in first class if there are no seats in standard?

No, you can only travel in First Class with a valid first class ticket. We regularly check tickets on board our trains and you may be required to pay the difference if you do not hold a First Class ticket and you might be charged a penalty fare.

If the train is exceptionally busy the conductor may ‘declassify’ First Class, making those seats available for standard ticket holders. This is unusual because we respect that passengers have paid a premium for First Class.

In exceptional circumstances you may be able to sit in First Class with a standard ticket if you have permission from one of our on board Revenue Protection staff.

Can I take my bike on your trains?

If you have a folding bike, you can take it folded onto any train and at any time.

Unfortunately, we can’t always accommodate non-folding bikes. We are unable to take them on most of our services arriving in the London peak , 07:00 to 10:00, and leaving London in the evening peak, 16:00 to 19:00.

You can't take a bike on rail replacement bus services.

Find out more information on our bike policy

Can I take my pet on your trains?

Yes. You can take up to two domestic pets (dogs, cats and other small animals) on board our services subject to the conditions below:

  • All dogs must be kept on a short lead at all times, unless contained within an enclosed pet carrying basket
  • Any pet without a lead must be carried in a basket no bigger than 85 x 60 x 60cm
  • Whilst travelling on our trains, all pets including those in containers must be stored on the floor allowing empty seats to be used by paying customers
  • When boarding the train, where possible, dogs should be carried to avoid falling between the platform and the train
  • Should you, your pet or their lead become trapped in the doors, immediately use the passenger emergency alarm to contact the driver and get help
Can I travel on the train with my wheelchair or mobility scooter?

All our train services can carry manual or powered wheelchairs, and mobility scooters, up to the following dimensional and weight limitations:

Width 700 millimetres Length (including footplates)

1200 millimetres Weight (including passenger)

300 kilograms

Can pregnant Season tickets holders get a seat?

Our trains have specially designated priority seats for customers that have a greater need to sit down than others.

Priority seats can be used by anyone, but they should be given up if they’re needed more by people with disabilities, expectant mothers, elderly passengers or those carrying infants. Because someone’s need for a seat may not be immediately obvious to other customers, we have a Priority Card scheme.

Not everyone is comfortable with asking other passengers to give up their seat and explaining why this is necessary. The priority seat card is designed to avoid any embarrassment in this situation.

The card is available through our assisted travel team.

Find out more about the Priority Card scheme.

Do all of your trains have First Class?
Not all of our trains have First Class seating on them. You can look on our timetable to see if First Class is available on your train. Or you can call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 or visit
I have a First Class ticket and my train was 'declassified'. Do I get a refund?

If a train is exceptionally busy our on board staff may decide to ‘de-classify' First Class. This is unusual because we respect that you’ve paid a premium for the First Class service.

Our on board staff are unlikely to declassify if some standard class ticket holders standing, but it becomes more likely as the number of those standing increases.

If your train is de-classified, please submit a claim for the difference between a standard and First Class ticket via our simple online form.

You need to do this within 28 days of the journey concerned.

I have a First Class ticket but there's no seats left

If you have a First Class ticket but there are no First Class seats available on your train, you can claim a refund of the difference between the first class and the standard class ticket for the relevant part of your journey. To claim your refund apply using our simple online form.

If a train is exceptionally busy the on board staff may decide to ‘de-classifying' First Class. This is unusual because we respect that you have paid a premium for the First Class service.

If your train is de-classified please submit a claim for the difference between a standard and First Class ticket via our simple online form.

You need to do this within 28 days of the journey concerned.

What information do you give on trains?
Most of our trains have an on-board information displays and play automated announcements. Our train drivers also make announcements on route if there are delays.
What items can I take on your trains?

The National Rail Conditions of Travel (the contract between us and you) sets out what you can and cannot take on to any UK train.

Read the National Rail Conditions of Travel (see Part 2)

What should I do if I feel unwell on a train?

If you or another passenger feels unwell on one of our trains, the safest thing to do is to wait until the train stops at the next station and to seek help there.

You should avoid using the emergency stop button unless it's essential. Emergency services will be able to get to you much faster at a station than on a train stopped on the line. Many of our station staff have first aid training and will be able to assist.

What staff do you have on your trains?
Some of our trains are only staffed with a driver but we do employ Revenue Protection Officers to carry out ticket checks on many of our trains.
What train information is available at stations?

We display timetables on posters at every station and you can get pocket versions from the ticket office. We also put up posters warning you in advance what engineering work is coming up and what will affect journeys to and from the station.

Most of our stations also have customer information screens on the platforms or concourses that give ‘live’ train time updates every two minutes. Some smaller stations have a help-line telephone.

We also expect our station staff to make announcements when they're needed, such as when services are disrupted.

Where do you operate?

The Gatwick Express is a non-stop train between London Victoria, which is in the heart of Central London, and London Gatwick Airport.

Why is my train overcrowded?

We run as many peak time trains as we can on the railway infrastructure. We adjust our timetables and the number of carriages where we can to reduce overcrowding and we’re looking to improve this soon.

Trains can be busier than usual for a number of reasons. An earlier cancellation, for instance, will mean the next services are busier than usual. Occasionally, trains have fewer coaches than usual because we’ve had to temporarily withdraw some carriages for emergency repairs.

Where can I find wheelchair space on your trains?
All of our trains have specially designed wheelchair spaces. On the majority of our fleet these spaces are close to accessible toilets and feature accessible passenger alarms. The spaces are normally situated in the centre carriages within standard class accommodation and are easily identified by markings on the outside of the train. For further guidance regarding accessibility of our trains please contact our Assisted Travel team.
I need to take my cycle on the train, as I use it to continue my journey at the other end. Can you make an exception?

For the safety of all our passengers, we can’t make exceptions on peak hour restrictions. But we do want to support our passengers who commute by bicycle. You might consider:

  •  Using a folding cycle
  • Travelling earlier or later to avoid peak times
  • Buying two cycles and keep one at each end of your journey
  • Making use of London’s self-service bike-sharing scheme, Santander Cycles
If I use a station shelter with CCTV, is Gatwick Express responsible for my cycle?
Sorry, no. While we aim to provide safe and secure bike parking, ultimately your cycle is left at your own risk.

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