Changes to trains in Sussex this Christmas

Please see below an update I have received from Network Rail regarding train services over the Christmas period which I promised to share with constituents:


I am writing on behalf of Network Rail and Southern to make you aware of some major changes to train services between London and Sussex – including Gatwick Airport - over the Christmas period as we continue to invest in improving the railway as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.


A major project by Network Rail to completely replace a crucial junction at Purley will mean major changes for trains to Gatwick Airport, Brighton and stations along the south coast. This work will take place from late on Christmas Eve to 3 January 2016 inclusive, and includes three working days (December 29-31).


As a result, there will be no trains between South Croydon and Redhill, and the Gatwick Express service will be suspended. There will be some diverted train services and bus replacements to help passengers to complete their journeys.


Passengers for Gatwick Airport will travel by train to East Grinstead for a bus link to the airport, or catch a train from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport via Horsham, but this will take considerably longer. Passengers travelling between London and Brighton will catch a train to East Grinstead for a bus link to Three Bridges and then a train to Brighton. Passengers travelling from Brighton to Gatwick Airport are unaffected. However, passengers travelling from Brighton to London Victoria will be able to travel to Three Bridges for a connecting bus to East Grinstead, where they will board a train to complete their journey.


In addition to the work at Purley over Christmas, there will be changes to Southeastern services as a result of work at London Bridge, this is part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme. The work includes making major changes to the tracks and signalling, and will bring a new viaduct built at Borough into use for the first time. Due for completion in 2018, the rebuild of London Bridge station and the surrounding railway will give passengers across the south east more reliable services and more trains to more destinations.


As a result of work which will take place between 8pm on Christmas Eve and 3 January 2016, there will be no Southeastern trains from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and London Bridge, with services diverted to and from Victoria, Blackfriars and New Cross.


The work outlined above may affect you or your constituents coming into London or travelling to Sussex during this period; we are doing all we can to help inform passengers in advance and assist them to plan their travel. Through our communications with passengers we are urging them to check before they travel, to ensure that any disruption that may be caused during these works are kept to an absolute minimum.


Passengers can check before they travel, or visit their train operator's website for more information.


We do not take the decision to stop services lightly. We have chosen to carry out this vital work at Christmas, because fewer passengers travel at Christmas making it a good time for us to do major investment work while minimising the impact on the travelling public.


With more and more people travelling by rail every day, our work to modernise and expand the railway is absolutely vital to the region’s economic health. The work we are doing this Christmas is a crucial part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and will mean a better, more reliable railway for passengers when they return to work in the New Year.


Many thanks for your attention on this matter and please do not hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any further assistance.



Adam Pritchard

Public Affairs Manager


Network Rail | 1 Eversholt St | London | NW1 2DN



I hope this information is helpful