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GTR opens third public consultation on £7bn Thameslink Programme

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has opened its third consultation into proposed changes to the £7bn Thameslink Programme.

The initial two phases of consultation attracted over 20,000 responses on questions surrounding extended routes and weekday timetables, while this set of work focuses on weekend and late-night services.

The changes will be implemented in the overall Thameslink Programme, which is in itself an effort to modernise the south-east rail network in order to deal with changing priorities and increasing capacity issues.

New proposals include plans to double some Saturday services, add journeys to the Sunday timetable while doubling other services, and step up the frequency of late-night trains between Bedford and Three Bridges.

Phil Hutchinson, GTR’s head of strategic planning, who is leading the timetable development and consultation, said: “Our timetable consultation with passengers and stakeholders has been very positive so far.

“Phase 2 generated over 10,000 responses and we are working to incorporate as many suggestions as possible. We are very grateful to those who have taken such an interest and are helping to shape the new timetable.

“This is a fundamental part of our plans to modernise the railway, creating better connections and more capacity. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restructure the timetable to give passengers more trains and the much better reliability we all want.

“Ultimately it will put the Thameslink route at the heart of the UK rail network.”

For phase 3, as with the earlier consultations, anybody with an interest is invited to comment online at a dedicated website.

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Trainmaster22   28/11/2017 at 14:21

For a start it would be good if we had the direct peak hour services from Redhill to London Bridge reinstated- still nothing between 0740 and 0840 and every day a mad scramble at East Crodon to switch platforms, with no chance of a seat for the rest of the journey and often passengers left on the platform.

Henry Law   28/11/2017 at 15:37

Thameslink has never solved the problems that arose the day it was introduced nearly thirty years ago. The first is that it propagates delays from what were previously two separate networks. A points failure at Wivelsfield can cause disruption at Luton, and vice versa. The second is that the trains are of necessity designed for twenty minute journeys but passengers may find themselves travelling in them for an hour and a half. Before 1939, the strategy was to make cross-London services as self-contained as possible and confine their operation to within the built-up area - these days, this probably means something like Gatwick to St Albans. Well into the 1950s Bedford enjoyed its own buffet car service, the "Bedford Flyer." It was the last route on which the LMS Compounds were used on trains into London.

Jak Jaye   28/11/2017 at 19:40

THE most useless TOC...ever it beggars belief that any Government would let GTR have a railway to play with!

Huguenot   28/11/2017 at 21:51

I haven't looked at the new consultation yet, but I agree with Henry that the Thameslink network is trying to do too much. Ideally, it should have been an 'inner suburban' network only, with outer suburban trains using the main termini. Henry suggests Luton to Gatwick, to which could be added Welwyn GC to Wimbledon, say. This would mean Thameslink using only the slow lines on both the MML and the ECML, and lateness on Thameslink would not then materially affect outer suburban or inter-city services on those two lines. This is what Crossrail will do, with no more than two branches either side of London. As I have said before, the proposed weekday Thameslink timetable is unworkable and my prediction is that it will be re-jigged with a few years.

Andrew Gwilt   28/11/2017 at 23:04

Few more Class 700’s are coming to Great Northern next year. Aswell as the construction of the Class 717’s that will replace the Class 313’s.

Roger Carvell   29/11/2017 at 10:03

I heard that the former BR London Midland Region was opposed to linking up with Thameslink as Euston didn't want delays south of the river imported northwards onto the WCML. Quite right! On GN we are not exactly ecstatic about being linked with SE London, Sussex and Kent with all the potential for knock on delays. Self contained train services please!

Paul   26/12/2017 at 11:42

Can anyone advise if the unscheduled stop at Redhill on the 1.00am London Victoria service to Brighton has now been abolished? I recently took a Thameslink train to East Croydon then the Southern service and ended up in the taxi queue at Gatwick airport together with a lot of other passengers. Great business for Gatwick taxi firms of course but the unadvertised Redhill stop has been operating for years. When I enquired Govia said this was in response to their timetable consultation! The truth is Govia prefer running empty trains to Gatwick and have no interest in serving commuter routes. They need proper Government regulation - which has never been forthcoming. The consultation is a sham.

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