What train routes are affected by Christmas and New Year in Sussex?

Network Rail has issued advice for train users in Sussex over the Christmas and New Year periods.

Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 9:10 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th December 2020, 9:15 am

According to Network Rail, the vast majority of the rail network in Sussex will be open for Christmas and New Year train services and a spokesman said 'passengers can travel with confidence with rigorous and extensive cleaning regimes in place'.

Passengers are advised to continue to check before they travel as there will be changes to services on a few routes due to engineering works including the Gatwick Airport station upgrade project.

Details on individual journeys, including the times of trains, will be available in journey planners and on National Rail Enquiries, Network Rail said.

The railway station works being carried out at Gatwick Airport

From Sunday, December 27, 2020 until Sunday 3 January 2021, there will be changes to Southern and Thameslink services:

Southern services between London Victoria and Bognor Regis / Portsmouth & Southsea / Southampton will operate on diversion via Dorking. These services will not call at Gatwick Airport or nearby stations such as Crawley or Three Bridges.

Customers at Horsham or to the south that wish to travel to Gatwick Airport should plan to change trains at Horsham and to allow additional time for the connection. Thameslink services will operate on the route between Horsham, Gatwick Airport and London Bridge.

Southern / Gatwick Express services between London Victoria and Brighton will not operate Monday 28 December – Thursday 31 December or Saturday 2 January. Customers for Brighton to/from London or Gatwick Airport should plan to use Thameslink services to/from London Bridge.

The Thameslink Gatwick Airport to Bedford via Redhill service will start its journey at Three Bridges.

As usual, no trains will be in operation on Christmas Day, and there will be a limited Southern service on Boxing Day.

Shaun King, Network Rail's route director for Sussex, said: “The work we are doing this Christmas and New Year will mean a better, more reliable railway for passengers. We are delivering a vital £150m upgrade to Gatwick Airport station to increase capacity, improve accessibility and transform the experience for more passengers, than ever before.

“Please continue to wear a face covering unless you are exempt, and plan your journey in advance.”

An enhanced and rigorous cleaning regime is also in place across stations and trains in Sussex. Network Rail reminded those travelling to continue following Government advice around the use of public transport – wear a face covering unless you are exempt, travel at quieter times and maintain a distance from other passengers wherever possible.

Angie Doll, managing director for Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “There will be some changes from the usual festive-period timetable, and some days will be busier than normal, so please plan well ahead by checking a journey planner, and avoid busy periods if you can.“If you’re travelling over Christmas or New Year to see family and friends, rest assured we have been working hard behind the scenes to keep trains and stations clean and safe. At all times please remember the three golden rules – hands, face, space: wash or sanitise your hands before and after each trip, wear a face covering and keep a safe distance from other passengers.”