Reigate is set to lose its direct connection with London Bridge from December 2018, under draft plans published by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).
Off-peak direct services to and from Victoria would still operate, but in peak hours these too could disappear. GTR is asking whether peak-time commuters would prefer a twice-hourly Victoria service, or a regular shuttle service to and from Redhill for Victoria and London Bridge trains.
The proposals are included in a consultation on the timetable that will operate when the Thameslink improvement programme completes. The project includes the London Bridge upgrade works.
Under the plans, the Redhill – London Bridge route will be served by Thameslink services rather than Southern. The new fixed 12-car Thameslink trains can’t use Reigate as the station’s platforms aren’t long enough.
The consultation says that Monday- Saturday off-peak direct trains will run between Reigate and Victoria, but GTR is asking for views on two ideas for the peak hours at Reigate:
“a) Run a frequent shuttle train (up to three times an hour, subject to further timetable development with Network Rail) between Reigate and Redhill connecting with the six London bound trains. These trains would run in addition to the Great Western Railway services between Reigate and Redhill meaning up to six trains per hour could be provided.
b) Continue to operate direct trains between Reigate and London Victoria but less frequently attaching with other carriages at Redhill. These trains would run twice an hour.”
At Redhill the six London bound trains an hour in the peak would be:
- four Thameslink trains with a journey time Redhill – London Bridge of 31 minutes
- two Southern trains with a journey time Redhill – London Victoria of 39 minutes (these are the services that might run on to Reigate).
Lots of other changes are proposed, including changed calling patterns at intermediate stations, and more frequent evening and weekend services at Redhill.
The wider timetable will give Redhill a direct link to Peterborough and Bedford.
The consultation is available on a GTR webpage, and closes at 5pm on Thursday 8 December 2016. A summary sheet for the Redhill route is included.
The timetable and short platform issues were previously aired at the Reigate, Redhill & District Rail Users’ AGM back in April – see our previous article.