Transforming services while focusing on reliability
Thameslink Programme has laid the foundations for the biggest transformation in services that this part of the rail network has seen in decades. The new, high frequency timetable takes advantage of the new infrastructure to provide more capacity, new journey options and better connections for passengers across London and the south east.
Increasing resilience and capacity
Our network has been used intensively for a very long period of time and the original infrastructure was not designed for the demands now placed on it – the infrastructure investment from the Thameslink Programme has been made to increase the resilience and capacity for the future.
Working together through the industry Readiness Board, we have designed a timetable for the network that will transform journeys by providing customers with more choices, while, at the same time, enabling us to focus on reliability. Combined with the new fleet, it helps us to deliver more capacity, with up to 40,000 extra seats for passengers, and makes it easier for passengers to travel across London.
From 2018, Thameslink services will provide new journey opportunities on an expanded network and better connections to airports. Passengers from Cambridge and Peterborough will have direct access to Gatwick for the first time, and passengers from Sussex, Surrey and Kent will be able to access the Great Northern and East Coast routes. These better rail connections will ensure that London and the South East continue to generate growth and opportunities in the decades ahead.
The increased capacity on the central London Thameslink route will enable Thameslink services to act like an alternative Tube line delivering trains every 2-3 minutes through central London between Blackfriars and St Pancras International. Some passengers will save time as they will be able to travel straight through to the City and beyond without needing to change. This will also relieve crowding on the Underground, especially the Northern Line between London Bridge and St Pancras International.
Focusing on reliability
From May 2018, the first phase of the new timetable delivered 70% of the overall capacity benefits of the programme. The final elements are being introduced more gradually over three further timetable changes to reduce the risk of disruption to passenger services. Phasing in the new timetable will help us to deliver the changes more reliably and allow us to review progress at each stage and make adjustments where necessary.
Overall, passengers from stations across the South East will benefit from more trains, more seats and overall, more capacity into London through a combination of longer trains and more services at the busiest times.