Rail commuters have been urged to check planned train timetable changes which will see more than four million trains rescheduled from Sunday 20 May onwards.
The changes are being ushered in by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) – Britain’s biggest rail operator – as part of a bid to boost capacity.
Departures and arrivals will be re-set across the entire GTR network of Southern Railway, Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Great Northern, which together account for almost a quarter of all UK rail journeys.
The rail operator said there could be some disruption as the changes bed in.
This is what we know about the plans.
Why are the timetables being changed?
The shake-up, part of the operator’s RailPlan 20/20 programme, is designed to increase overall frequencies and reliability.
Many of the changes are a result of the £7 billion invested in the Thameslink programme in the south east, including rebuilding London Bridge station, new trains and track improvements.
Which routes will be affected?
GTR – which consists of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express – has said departure times for every one of its trains are set to change.
They said that, as a result, there will be almost 400 additional trains every day.
Where do the routes operate?
Thameslink runs services between Bedford and Brighton, Luton/St Albans and Sutton, Wimbledon and Sevenoaks, while Great Northern operates between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn.
Southern services run between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth).
The Gatwick Express is a fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria.
What exactly is happening?
Departures and arrivals will be re-set across the entire GTR network and many passengers can expect their trains to start and terminate at different stations, for example many King’s Cross services will instead call at the adjacent St Pancras International.
The rail operator says it will have space for an extra 50,000 extra passengers travelling to London in the morning peak each day and that 80 more stations will have direct services to the centre of the capital.
How were the changes decided?
The timetable was developed from scratch, taking into account existing issues such as inadequate stop times which do not account for the number of people getting on or off trains at busy stations, and short turnaround times at destination stations which mean the slightest disruption causes multiple delays.
GTR said it carried out the biggest consultation of its kind, receiving 28,000 responses from passengers over a period of 18 months.
Where can I find out more?
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