Village News

5th Jun 2017 Last updated at 16:48

Thameslink Draws Closer

The CRA is a member of the East Surrey Transport Committee which usually meets in Croydon once a month, under the chairmanship of Charles King, Chairman of the East Coulsdon Residents’ Association. This month the committee had a presentation from Phil Hutchinson, Strategic Planning Director for GTR, (the parent company of Southern) about future proposals for the new Thameslink service, which becomes operational in 2018. These proposals are currently provisional and subject to further consultation.

The redevelopment of London Bridge station should be largely complete by April 2017 which should allow some Thameslink services to start running through London Bridge to Blackfriars/St. Pancras and beyond avoiding the current slow Herne Hill route. The full Thameslink service is scheduled to start in December, 2018, and services should gradually ramp up during the year.

In order to accommodate more Thameslink services into Kent, it has been decided to drop the Caterham and Tattenham Corner lines from the Thameslink network. So the earlier proposal for a direct service from Chipstead to Cambridge is no longer!

The Caterham and Tattenham Corner lines are likely to become 5 coach services (which fit the shorter platforms) using the newer Class 377 trains. Trains from each line will join at Purley forming a 10 coach service to LondonBridge. The current slow stopping service in the evenings from Victoria to Tatttenham Corner may be withdrawn and replaced by a fast service to East Croydon with a change of trains.

Thameslink services will be available from Coulsdon South, Purley and East Croydon and 2018 timetables are currently subject to consultation.

The new Thameslink services require precise timings, especially in the central core between Blackfriars and St. Pancras. In order to minimise disruption caused by track, signalling and other infrastructure failures, the Department for Transport has agreed to fund £200m worth of infrastructure improvements, mainly on the Brighton main line. This work will be carried out at night, and in order to give Network Rail track access, the all night services from Victoria to East Croydon, ThreeBridges and Brighton will be suspended until the work is completed.