Thameslink route: Christmas/New Year alterations with no trains between East Croydon and Gatwick Airport from 27 December to 1 January

24 Dec 2013 to 01 Jan 2014

In detail

This Christmas and New Year period, Network Rail will be carrying out major engineering work at Gatwick Airport and on an important junction between Redhill and East Croydon. This will have a significant impact on services on the Brighton main line.

There will be no trains between East Croydon and Gatwick Airport between 27 December and 1 January inclusive. First Capital Connect tickets will be accepted on Southern services from East Croydon to East Grinstead from where there will be a frequent replacement bus link to the airport and to Three Bridges (customers not travelling to/from the Airport should travel via Three Bridges). Passengers should allow between 70 and 90 minutes extra to travel between East Croydon and Gatwick Airport/Three Bridges. Arrangements for overnight travel will vary.

Please check 'Plan your journey' for details of your specific journey. At Gatwick Airport, Network Rail engineers will be completing a new platform and associated track and signalling which will provide more capacity for passengers and greater flexibility for train services from winter 2014.

Between Redhill and East Croydon (the location is south of Purley), a major junction is being replaced which will remove the need for speed restrictions and improve journey times, flexibility and the reliability of the infrastructure.

From 27 December to 1 January inclusive, no cycles will be permitted on trains between London Blackfriars and East Croydon or on replacement buses. Our normal cycle restrictions will also be in place. Please visit our cyclists page for more information.

As in previous years:

  • Services will finish early on Christmas Eve
  • There will be no trains on Christmas Day or Boxing Day
  • Extra trains will operate in the early hours of New Year’s morning, but London Blackfriars will be exit-only from 2200
  • Services will operate to an amended timetable on all routes at other times

Details for specific journeys are available through ‘Plan your journey’
See below for a full summary of changes over the Christmas and New Year period

Monday 23 December 2013

A normal Monday service will operate.

Tuesday 24 December 2013 (Christmas Eve)

A Monday to Friday service will operate: Kentish Town – Sevenoaks route services (and peak services to and from other Kent stations) will operate to a normal Monday to Friday timetable all day. Services will shut down by approximately 2200.

Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 December 2013 (Christmas Day & Boxing Day)

No services operating.

Friday 27 December 2013

No services will operate until approx. 0400. From 0400, a revised service will operate as follows:

  • 4 trains per hour between Bedford and East Croydon 
  • 2 trains per hour between Brighton and Gatwick Airport 
  • 2 trains per hour between Luton and Sutton
  • 2 trains per hour between St. Albans and Sutton 

Additional peak services will also operate (2 trains per hour) between Bedford and Blackfriars. Late night/early morning services will operate to a reduced frequency. Customers traveling between the South Coast/Gatwick Airport and East Croydon should use Southern train services between East Croydon and East Grinstead. A frequent rail replacement bus service will operate between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport/Three Bridges. Your First Capital Connect tickets will be valid on these bus services, but you should allow an extra 70 to 90 minutes for your journey. Customers not travelling to/from Gatwick Airport should travel via Three Bridges. Arrangements for overnight travel will vary. Please check the 'Plan your journey' for specific details.
South Eastern services to/from Sevenoaks will operate south of Blackfriars only.

Saturday 28 December 2013

A revised service will operate as follows:

  • 4 trains per hour between Bedford and East Croydon 
  • 2 trains per hour between Brighton and Gatwick Airport 
  • 2 trains per hour between Luton and Sutton 
  • 2 trains per hour between St. Albans and Sutton 

Customers traveling between the South Coast/Gatwick Airport and East Croydon should use Southern train services between East Croydon and East Grinstead. A frequent rail replacement bus service will operate between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport/Three Bridges. Your First Capital Connect tickets will be valid on these bus services, but you should allow an extra 70 to 90 minutes for your journey. Customers not travelling to/from Gatwick Airport should travel via Three Bridges. Arrangements for overnight travel will vary. Please check the 'Plan your journey' for specific details.

Sunday 29 December 2013

A revised service will operate as follows:

  • 4 trains per hour between Bedford and East Croydon 
  • 2 trains per hour between Brighton and Gatwick Airport 
  • 2 trains per hour between Luton and Sutton 
  • 2 trains per hour between St. Albans and Sutton 

Customers traveling between the South Coast/Gatwick Airport and East Croydon should use Southern train services between East Croydon and East Grinstead. A frequent rail replacement bus service will operate between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport/Three Bridges. Your First Capital Connect tickets will be valid on these bus services, but you should allow an extra 70 to 90 minutes for your journey. Customers not travelling to/from Gatwick Airport should travel via Three Bridges. Arrangements for overnight travel will vary. Please check the 'Plan your journey' for specific details.

Until 0825, Buses will replace trains between Luton and Bedford: Late night/early morning services on all routes will operate to a reduced frequency.

Monday 30 December 2013

A revised service will operate as follows:

  • 4 trains per hour between Bedford and East Croydon 
  • 2 trains per hour between Brighton and Gatwick Airport 
  • 2 trains per hour between Luton and Sutton
  • 2 trains per hour between St. Albans and Sutton

Additional peak services will also operate (2 trains per hour) between Bedford and Blackfriars.
Late night/early morning services will operate to a reduced frequency. Customers traveling between the South Coast/Gatwick Airport and East Croydon should use Southern train services between East Croydon and East Grinstead. A frequent rail replacement bus service will operate between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport/Three Bridges. Your First Capital Connect tickets will be valid on these bus services, but you should allow an extra 70 to 90 minutes for your journey. Customers not travelling to/from Gatwick Airport should travel via Three Bridges. Arrangements for overnight travel will vary. Please check the 'Plan your journey' for specific details. South Eastern services to/from Sevenoaks will operate south of Blackfriars only.

Tuesday 31 December 2013 (New Year’s Eve)

Enjoy a free ride home with us tonight - there is free travel from 23:45 tonight until 04:30 on 1 January on services away from London.

Last trains run in the early hours so for these services please look below under Wednesday 1 January!

From 2100 until 0400, Blackfriars station will be exit only due to expected crowding along the river banks. Please use Farringdon station.

A revised service will operate during the day as follows:

  • 4 trains per hour between Bedford and East Croydon 
  • 2 trains per hour between Brighton and Gatwick Airport
  • 2 trains per hour between Luton and Sutton
  • 2 trains per hour between St. Albans and Sutton 

Additional peak services will also operate (2 trains per hour) between Bedford and Blackfriars.

Late night/early morning services will operate to a reduced frequency. South Eastern services to/from Sevenoaks will operate south of Blackfriars only.

Customers traveling between the South Coast/Gatwick Airport and East Croydon should use Southern train services between East Croydon and East Grinstead. A frequent rail replacement bus service will operate between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport/Three Bridges. Your First Capital Connect tickets will be valid on these bus services, but you should allow an extra 70 to 90 minutes for your journey.

Customers not travelling to/from Gatwick Airport should travel via Three Bridges. Arrangements for overnight travel will vary. Please check the 'Plan your journey' for specific details.

Wednesday 1 January 2014 (New Year’s Day)

Early morning services:

St Pancras to Bedford (calling all stations): 0140

Farringdon to St Albans (calling all stations): 0213, 0243, 0343 and 0413

St Pancras to Sutton (via Mitcham Junction, calling all stations): 0108, 0208, 0238 and 0438 - all of these trains will be stopping at Farringdon at 0113, 0213, 0243 and 0443.

For the rest of the day, a revised service will operate as follows:

  • 4 trains per hour between Bedford and East Croydon 
  • 2 trains per hour between Brighton and Gatwick Airport 
  • 2 trains per hour between Luton and Sutton 
  • 2 trains per hour between Blackfriars and Sutton 

Customers traveling between the South Coast/Gatwick Airport and East Croydon should use Southern train services between East Croydon and East Grinstead. A frequent rail replacement bus service will operate between East Grinstead and Gatwick Airport/Three Bridges. Your First Capital Connect tickets will be valid on these bus services, but you should allow an extra 70 to 90 minutes for your journey. Customers not travelling to/from Gatwick Airport should travel via Three Bridges. Arrangements for overnight travel will vary. Please check the 'Plan your journey' for specific details. South Eastern services to/from Sevenoaks will operate south of Blackfriars only.

Thursday 2 January 2014

A normal service will operate.

Further information

Further information is available from the following sources:

  • Timetable PDFs: Please click here to create your own timetable.
  • Sign up to receive a weekly engineering update at firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/traveltools
  • Visit nationalrail.co.uk for a journey planner, or to create a timetable tailored to your journey
  • Call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 (24 hrs, calls may be recorded)
  • Call TrainTracker on 0871 200 49 50, this voice activated service will give you details of any National Rail journey (Calls cost 10p per minute from a BT landline, calls from other operators and mobiles may be higher)
  • Text your journey to TrainTracker Text on 84950 up to 21 hrs in advance (messages costs standard text rate plus 25p, visit nationalrail.co.uk for details)
  • Details of London bus and Tube services will be available at journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk or by calling 0343 222 1234


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