400 more Thameslink trains a day

Galtero Lara
May 16, 2018

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) today announced a significant boost to services as part of its RailPlan 20/20 programme with nearly 400 (or 13%) more trains running every day when its new timetable is introduced next week.

"Introduction of the new timetables is a major milestone in the delivery of RailPlan 20/20, our programme to modernise rail services, taking advantage of the new infrastructure and trains provided by the Government's £7bn Thameslink Programme".

The changes will hopefully improve frequencies and reliability of trains but some passengers are complaining they are about to be hit with fewer or slower services.

GTR, Britain's biggest rail operator, will start to run around 3,600 trains - one every 24 seconds - across its network in a step forward for its programme to boost capacity across the region.

Emily Ketchin, founder of campaign group Harpenden Thameslink Commuters, claimed GTR was cutting services in Harpenden by a third. We don't want passengers to get caught out and so we strongly advise them to look up the times of their trains as they will find that from 20 May each and every one of them has changed.

She said: 'This is going to have a real impact on people's ability to get to work, especially working parents who already struggle with juggling childcare and work commitments.

"It's time that Thameslink remembered they're there to be a service for the people who pay them £4,000 a year".

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Some disruption is expected while trains and crews are redeployed over the coming weeks.

Delays to electrification work between Manchester and Bolton in addition to a shortage of diesel rolling stock mean many of Northern's planned improvements have been deferred.

There will be nearly 400 additional GTR trains every day.

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.

Passengers have been asked for their input to the new timetable with 28,000 responses received over 18 months in the biggest consultation of its kind. This adds extra capacity but trains will only stop at every other station to save time, affecting passengers wanting to make local trips.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said: "Many passengers will have a greater choice of services, however there will also be some who lose out".

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