Transforming your journey at Gatwick Airport
Architect’s impression of the new passenger concourse
Network Rail is delivering a vital £150m upgrade to Gatwick Airport Railway Station to improve accessibility, provide a lot more space for customers and improve facilities. With the number of customers visiting the station set to grow, this important investment will upgrade the railway station and help the airport to play an even bigger role in the local economy’s growth as a hub for international visitors.
It will be delivered between May 2020 and 2023, with two years of intensive platform works between May 2020 and May 2022. While these platform works are underway, we’ll be introducing a dedicated timetable to keep you on the move.
Upgrade plans and benefits
Delivered over three years, with two years of platform works between May 2020 and May 2022, the upgrade will:
- Double the size of the station concourse through the construction of a new glass-roofed concourse above platforms 5, 6 and 7, the refit of the existing station concourse and the construction of a new separate staff building to create more space for customers.
- Improve customer access, especially for wheelchair users and those with luggage by building five new lifts, eight new escalators, new staircases and improved wayfinding throughout the station buildings.
- Reduce platform overcrowding and reduce train delays across the network by widening platforms 5 and 6, through new lifts and stairs on platforms 3 & 4, new lifts, escalators and stairs on platforms 5, 6 and 7 and through a new exit with accessible ramp for platform 7. This will make it much faster for passengers to board and alight trains and clear platforms, helping our team to dispatch trains quickly and keep services running on time.
To enable the work, the station will need to be managed differently. We will need to change walking routes at the station, so we’re planning extensively to ensure that every customer is supported during this exciting time at the airport. This includes ensuring that step-free access to and from the platforms is available at all times.
You can find out more about the Gatwick Railway Station upgrade project at: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/sussex/upgrading-the-brighton-main-line/gatwick-airport-station-upgrade/
Train services during the upgrade
We are working closely with Network Rail, Gatwick Airport, transport and rail groups and other stakeholders across the South East to develop a dedicated timetable that will remain consistent for the two years of platform works.
We are introducing a dedicated timetable because the platform works between May 2020 and May 2022 will prevent trains from stopping at some platforms and a 30mph speed restriction will be in place when trains pass through the worksite.
While this important work is underway, there will be fourteen trains per hour in each direction through the station for the majority of the day, compared to sixteen today. This will mean changes to Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink services as we make the most of the available capacity on the railway and run longer trains wherever possible.
Customers will continue to have access to as many services as possible, at a time when fewer trains can operate per hour, and the timetable has been designed to deliver a punctual service so that passengers can rely on connections. We are working to deliver this important upgrade with as little disruption as possible.
The full timetable will be available in journey planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk from Sunday 23rd February 2020.
For now, here is a summary of our plans for weekday services from 18 May 2020 operating on the Brighton Main Line:
- Thameslink services will stay broadly the same as today, however some services between Three Bridges and Brighton will change with some new stops
- Gatwick Express, there is no change 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 twelve 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. We need to make this change to deliver the upgrade.
This means each route will operate with longer 8-carriage trains throughout most of the day, instead of 4-carriage trains, providing twice as much space on-board and much more passenger space on the busiest sections of the network. West Coastway services will make new station stops at Preston Park (increasing services to half hourly), Hassocks and Burgess Hill, and East Coastway services will make extra station stops at Wivelsfield, introducing a new half-hourly service in both directions.
To achieve this, Southern off-peak services from London Victoria will no longer run direct to or from Brighton. Passengers to/from Brighton to London will need to either use direct Gatwick Express or Thameslink services or change at stations such as East Croydon, Haywards Heath or Preston Park
- Other services which operate via Gatwick Airport such as Southern services via Horsham towards Portsmouth Harbour will not be significantly impacted by the works, but timings may change slightly
Gatwick Express service changes from Sunday 26th April 2020
To support the upgrade at Gatwick Airport, as a change to the current timetable, the Gatwick Express service between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport will operate as a half-hourly service in the off-peak from Sunday 26th April 2020, compared to every 15 minutes today. This is achieved by removing the Gatwick Express services that normally terminate or start their journeys at Gatwick Airport on platform 6 and operate as a shuttle service.
This will have no impact on Gatwick Express services that operate between London Victoria and Brighton calling at Gatwick Airport.
We are making this change so that platform 6 can be closed. This is to enable an additional staircase to be built ahead of the main upgrade.
Find out more
You can find out more about the Gatwick Airport railway station upgrade at: https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/sussex/upgrading-the-brighton-main-line/gatwick-airport-station-upgrade/
More details on the dedicated timetable will be available later this Spring including weekend services. We believe that the input of our customers is key to making the upgrade a success. To tell us what you think, you can speak to our team about the Gatwick upgrade and any questions you may have at the following drop-in sessions at major stations across the network.
- Brighton station on Tuesday 25 February from 09:00-11:00
- London Blackfriars station on Thursday 27 February from 07:30-09:30
- Haywards Heath station on 3 March from 17:30-19:30
- Preston Park station on 4 March from 06:30-08:00
- London Victoria station on Wednesday 11 March from 17:30-19:30
- Brighton station on Wednesday 18 March from 09:00-11:00
- Burgess Hill station on Tuesday 31 March from 17:30-19:30
- Hassocks station on Wednesday 1 April from 06:30-08:00
- London Victoria station on Tuesday 7 April from 09:00-11:00
- Clapham Junction station on Tuesday 14 April from 09:30-11:30
- London Bridge station on Thursday 23 April from 07:30-09:30
- London Victoria station on Thursday 21 May from 07:30-09:30
You’ll see lots of marketing and communications activity all across the network in spring 2020 as we work to ensure customers know about the upgrade and what it means for them.