Christmas. A time for friends, presents and upgrading the Thameslink route
As part of our plans to improve your railway, thousands of engineers will be working around the clock from the 22 December to 2 January, upgrading the network, laying new track and installing new signalling. We apologise for any inconvenience, but by scheduling these works over the Christmas period when we see far less people travelling means the work will cause disruptions to the fewest passengers. It lays the key foundation for work which will bring you a fully rebuilt London Bridge station, in 2018, upgraded track and signalling from Bedford to Brighton and ultimately a fleet of new state-of-the-art trains. In most cases, alternative rail routes will get you to where you want to go, but it’s critical you plan ahead, and check the timetable with National Rail Enquiries. To help you do this, here’s a summary of service changes listed under the respective train operators servicing London Bridge station.
First Capital Connect
First Capital Connect Thameslink route services are largely unaffected by Thameslink engineering work this year with the exception of one slight alteration on Sunday, 30 December. There will be a complete shutdown on Christmas Day and Boxing Day which is usual. However, as a crowd management measure for the New Year’s Eve firework display, the South Bank entrance of Blackfriars station will close on New Year’s Eve from 7pm until 6am the next day. Also, the main north bank entrance will be exit only from 9pm. We strongly recommend you avoid Blackfriars where possible as it will be extremely busy. Use City Thameslink instead which is open until 9pm and only a three minute walk away or Farringdon, which is slightly further, taking 12 minutes. For your return journey please use London Bridge or Farringdon.
Two major junctions on the Southeastern network, at Lewisham and near Rochester, will be affected by the Thameslink upgrade over the Christmas period. For the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, Southeastern will be running an amended timetable with some additional peak hour services. These works will affect all services into and out of London Termini. Diversions will also be in place for some services; there will be no direct services to Cannon Street so passengers travelling on the Hayes line, Orpington or from Crayford via Sidcup will need to get a Charing Cross service and change at London Bridge for connecting services. St John’s station will be closed from Sunday 23 December till Tuesday 1 January. New Cross station will be closed on Sunday 30 December. Sunday 30 December is the biggest day for alterations, with diversions and replacement bus services in place. Southeastern is running a Sunday timetable on New Years Day, Tuesday 1 January with additional early morning train services to help transport people home after late night celebrations. For train times check with National Rail Enquiries.
Due to major improvement work by Network Rail taking place in the Balham – Clapham Junction area, there are some amendments to the train services on the Southern network over Christmas and New Year. There will be replacement buses or passengers may need to use other train operators or London Tramlink. Services in detail:
First Capital Connect
|Friday, 21 December||Normal weekday service||Normal weekday service||Normal weekday service|
|Saturday, 22 December||Normal Saturday service||Normal Saturday service||Normal Sunday service, subject to engineering work. St Johns station closed.|
|Sunday, 23 December||Normal Sunday service||Normal Sunday service, subject to engineering work.||Normal Sunday service|
|Christmas Eve, 24 December||Last trains at about 22.00 pm||Amended weekday service. Last trains at about 21.00pm.||A Saturday service. Last trains at about 22.00 pm. Additional services will also run. St Johns station closed.|
|Christmas Day, 25 December||No service||No service A half-hourly bus service will run between 06:30 and 16:30, running directly between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.||No service|
|Boxing Day, 26 December||No service||The following train services will run on Boxing Day. There are no services running on any other routes: London Victoria to Gatwick Airport / Brighton: – At 20 minutes past each hour from London Victoria to Brighton, between 08:20 and 20:20. These trains will call at East Croydon, Gatwick Airport and Haywards Heath.Brighton / Gatwick Airport to London Victoria: – At 26 minutes past each hour from Brighton to London Victoria, between 07:26 and 19:26. These trains will call at Haywards Heath, Gatwick Airport and East Croydon. London Bridge to Sutton (Surrey) via Selhurst & West Croydon: – At 15 and 45 minutes past each hour from London, between 08:15 and 21:45. Sutton (Surrey) to London Bridge via West Croydon and Selhurst: – At 10 and 40 minutes past each hour from Sutton, between 08:10 and 21:10. London Bridge to East Croydon via Selhurst: – At 00 and 30 minutes past each hour from London, between 08:00 and 21:30. East Croydon to London Bridge via Selhurst: – At 40 and 10 minutes past each hour from East Croydon, between 08:40 and 20:40. Gatwick Express will also be running a half-hourly train service between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.||A half hourly high speed service between Ashford International and St Pancras International from 08:00 until 20:00, calling at Ebbsfleet International and Stratford International. No metro or mainline services. St Johns station closed.|
|Thursday, 27 December||Saturday service with extra morning and evening peak services between Bedford and Blackfriars||Saturday service, subject to engineering work.||Saturday service, subject to engineering work. Some additional trains will run to / from London Cannon Street during the morning and evening peak. St Johns station closed.|
|Friday, 28 December||Saturday service with extra morning and evening peak services between Bedford and Blackfriars||Saturday service, subject to engineering work||Saturday service, subject to engineering work. Some additional trains to / from London Cannon Street during the morning and evening peak. St Johns station closed.|
|Saturday, 29 December||Normal service||Saturday service, subject to engineering work||Saturday service, subject to engineering work. St Johns station closed.|
|Sunday, 30 December||From the south: until 7.20am, services will turn around at Blackfriars; from 7.20-8.15am services will turn around at Farringdon; normal service from 8.15am. From the north: until 8.15am services will turn around at Mill Hill Broadway with buses providing the connecting journey to London; normal service from 8.15am. After 12 noon, services between London and Bedford/Luton may run up to five minutes later than shown in the timetable.||Sunday service, subject to engineering work.||Sunday service, subject to engineering work. St Johns station closed. New Cross station closed.|
|New Year’s Eve, Monday, 31 December||Saturday service with extra morning and evening peak services between Bedford and Blackfriarsplus additional half hourly services overnight out of London between 12.30am and 4.30am to Sutton via Mitcham, calling all stations (except Elephant & Castle and Loughborough Junction) and to St Albans, calling all stations.||Saturday service, subject to engineering work||Saturday service, subject to engineering work. St Johns station closed. London Waterloo East will close at 23:45, therefore no train services will call there until after 05:00 on Tuesday 1 January.|
|New Year’s Day, 1 January||Sunday service.||Sunday service, subject to engineering work||Additional early morning trains until approximately 02:30 from London Charing Cross and London Victoria. For the rest of the day, a Sunday timetable service, subject to engineering work. St Johns station closed.|
|Tuesday, 2 January||Normal weekday service.||Normal weekday service.||Normal weekday service.|
Further info can be found on the following websites: First Capital Connect http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk Southern http://www.southernrailway.com/southern/news/christmas-and-new-year-services Southeastern: http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/your-journey/timetables/summary-of-christmas-and-new-year-services National Rail http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/seasonal/Christmas_2012/index_custom.htm