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GTR seeks views on ‘complete redesign’ of 2018 timetable with self-contained routes

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has opened a consultation on a new timetable following the opening of the expanded Thameslink network.

GTR operates the UK’s largest rail franchise, but also has the worst PPM in the country after experiencing persistent delays, especially across Southern.

It promised the new timetable would improve reliability on Southern inner London services and lead to 80% more peak-time seats between Blackfriars and St Pancras International across central London, and 19% extra seats through longer Thameslink trains from Brighton.

Phil Hutchinson, who is leading the timetable development and consultation, said: “We are proposing a complete redesign of the timetable by looking at which journeys are most important to passengers.

“We are creating more capacity and new cross London routes with connections to Crossrail and more punctual and reliable services. Operationally, each route would be self-contained so that if a problem occurs it does not affect other routes.

“We want passengers and stakeholders to help us shape their future train service so we are consulting, we think, earlier than any train operator has before. This is a real opportunity for passengers and stakeholders get involved in an open, honest and transparent conversation about what the train service should be in the future.

“This is about 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.”

On Southern, GTR promised to make routes more self-contained and easier to operate, reducing the ‘domino effect’ from delays.

Littlehampton, Horsham and East Grinstead services to London Bridge will transfer to Thameslink, and continue through central London to Bedford and Peterborough, with connections to St Pancras International and Luton Airport.

Other changes will include an all-day service between Epsom, Sutton, West Croydon & London Bridge, 10-carriage trains on Surrey’s Caterham & Tattenham Corner routes, and trains from Redhill to London Bridge.

However, Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, which has led strikes on Southern throughout the summer, argued: “Passengers don’t want to be consulted on how services may improve in almost two years’ time. They want action now to end the daily chaos to their journeys.”

Network Rail has now opened two-thirds of the new concourse at London Bridge, after major construction works helped cause the delays on GTR.

On Thameslink, meanwhile, there will be new services across central London, all-day services between Maidstone East and Cambridge with connections to Crossrail, and more frequent services at most stops between London and Bedford.

Improvements on Great Northern will include new direct services from Cambridge and Peterborough to Gatwick Airport and beyond and additional direct links to Maidstone from Cambridge.

The consultation is open until 8 December. The timetables for all of GTR’s franchises can be viewed here:

GTR has also introduced a new fleet of Class 700s (pictured), which seat up to 1,754 passengers, to deliver the extended services.

(Image c. GTR)

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Andrew Gwilt   20/09/2016 at 00:33

New timetables for Thameslink would improve better journey times and with more Class 700's being delivered and some are already in service will soon improve better journeys and with Class 700's that are used on Bedford-Brighton, Bedford-Three Bridges, London Bridge-Three Bridges, Luton-Wimbledon, Luton-Sutton, St. Albans-Sevenoaks and other services that Thameslink will provide with Sevenoaks and Orpington services that will see Class 377/2/5's being used unless 8-Car Class 700's are provided for those routes and sometimes 12-Car Class 700's may also be used on those routes.

Jake   21/09/2016 at 14:23

Someone please stop / ban this Gwilt person and their stupid, pointless, factually incorrect comments that serve no purpose to anyone.

Rail Realist   23/09/2016 at 12:05

The best way for the RMT point to be achieved is for them to stop the pointless strikes that has caused chaos all summer and looks set to continue into the autumn and winter. Come on RMT, get real and move with the times; DOO has been around for decades, so stop wingeing about it being unsafe

Andrew Gwilt   24/09/2016 at 00:37

@Jake. So you want me banned!! Get a life will you.

Andrew Gwilt   24/09/2016 at 00:38

I was only stating the obvious ok. So do ignore me then Jake. End of.

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