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New (amended) timetable from Sunday, 15 July 2018

As both regular and non-regular users will be well aware, GTR has not covered itself with glory with the new timetable introduced on 20 May. The changes to Southern services now seem to be working well in practice but the Thameslink changes have proved to be disastrous. The Thameslink chaos has mainly affected our members using these services from Littlehaven, Faygate, Ifield, Crawley and Three Bridges.

The problems with the Thameslink timetables are mainly down to inadequate time for planning driver training and rosters over what was new territory for many of them, some of these problems are down to GTR and others to Network Rail and the Department of Transport. The GTR timetable team has spent the last few weeks analysing the problems and they have produced an amended Monday to Friday timetable starting from next Monday 16 July. We were told at a meeting last Monday that this timetable more accurately matches staff and stock availability to needs and it give users more certainty of the trains likely to be running. For the last 8 weeks only around 50% of planned Thameslink services between Horsham and Peterborough have actually run, and on some days it has been even lower. Hopefully, the service planned from next week will be more reliable. Details of the changes can be found on the Thameslink website at https://www.thameslinkrailway.com/timetables. As the year progresses and reliability improves, Thameslink will add any services missing from the original timetable. This will be done on a phased basis. You will see from the information attached that 4 Thameslink services in each direction are missing from the timetable. It is these trains that will be restored when GTR consider they can do so.

There will be NO changes to the published Southern timetables and these services should improve in reliability as there should be no need for last minute additional stops to cover cancelled Thameslink services.

The Thameslink timetable covering the Horsham services covers other services running into Sussex and extends to 52 pages. As yet, there is no single timetable coving both Southern and Thameslink services, so I have attempted to produce one by merging the information from the published timetables. The result is attached to this Newsletter and is basically the information provided on the Southern timetable sent to you in April with the insertion of the Thameslink services and the detail now covers 3 pages instead of 2. I hope you will find it helpful. It is worth mentioning that all the Thameslink services call at Redhill for connections to Tonbridge, Guildford and Reading.

Weekend services from Sunday 15 July

These are already in the Southern pocket timetables and are in the Thameslink table mentioned above. If you are travelling at the weekend, it is worth checking times on the National Rail journey planner at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ as there is a lot of engineering work planned over coming months, most of which will take place at weekends. It is worth mentioning again that the pocket timetable does not show the last through train to Portsmouth which is the 21.16 from Victoria via Hove arriving Barnham 23.00 and Chichester 23.08. Nor does it show the connection for Chichester off the 21.33 from Victoria, a 38 minute wait at Barnham arriving Chichester 23.59. There is no connection for Chichester off the 22.33 from Victoria.

Trevor Tupper

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