Southern/Gatwick X Stakeholder Forum – Part 6

Presentation by Phil Hutchinson, Head of Strategic Planning, GTR

PH has a team of 10 working to develop & deliver the 2018 timetables which will be a major change from current operations. This will be “the biggest shake-up in a generation”.

It will provide uplift in service provision and a connection to cross-rail services at Farringdon.

The 2018 timetable consultation(s) are “an open, honest and transparent conversation about what the train service should be in the future” (really*?)

Stage 1): service provision headlines stage 2) detailed timetables

(but how are responders supposed to comment on 1) without a knowledge of 2)?)

The vast changes will impact on working patterns; service times, routes and stopping patterns will change.

There have been 1500 responses in the first 4 wks. Consultation is open until 3rd December.

The consultation is “DfT driven” for changes in service specification and delivery.

Big challenge is Windmill Junction (north of East Croydon) which will need to be remodelled to be fit for service provision into the 2020’s.

GTR have “had an extensive look around the network to determine existing passenger flows” (we have a MAJOR issue with this*)


Redesign and simplify the network; identify and address weaknesses;

Issues magnify quickly and we are looking to curtail effects to individual routes by creating stand-alone routes.

Review dwell times at all termini and seek to reduce log-jams.

The Brighton < > Ashford crowding / capacity issues + poor HS1 connectivity + poor Lewes connectivity drives a need to change, but the options are restricted.

Q&A (note: PH had pre-agreed to a separate local meeting to discuss local concerns so we listened rather than participate)

Will the Thameslink programme of 24tph through the central London core be robust?

We are seeking a workable frequency modulation; station dwell times to be compatible with passenger flows; routes and train diagram workings will be stand-alone

(but this did not answer the question as to what happens when a train fails within the central core)

Can there be more late-night services to /from Gatwick?

We would like to see this, but it will be fully dependant on NWR track-access requirements

There were other station-specific questions that did not relate to the local area.

As noted, we are not happy with some aspects of what is being said or how it has been presented; PH has very kindly agreed to a separate meeting.

SHRIMPs response to the 2018 timetable consultation will very much depend on what can be achieved or gleaned from the meeting.

Other documents will follow.