Gatwick Airport railway station

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Gatwick Airport railway station

Gatwick Airport station is the railway station at London Gatwick Airport that provides a direct rail connection to London 43 km (26¾ miles) away. The station platforms are located directly below the airport’s South Terminal, and the ticket office is adjacent to that terminal’s concourse. The station is currently one of 18 in the United Kingdom to be managed by Network Rail. Train services are provided by Gatwick Express, Southern, First Capital Connect and First Great Western. When viewed from air (or in satellite imagery), the present station building's British Rail logo that is etched on the top of the roof is visible.

History

There have been two Gatwick stations approximately sited 0.85 miles (1.37 km) from each other.

Present station

The station, originally named Gatwick, was built on the present site in September 1891 to serve the Gatwick Racecourse, and which originally operated only on race days. The facilities included passing loops and sidings to hold race trains without impeding the Brighton Main Line. The sidings were extended during the First World War to be able to accommodate munitions trains heading for Newhaven.

From 1946 until 1958 Gatwick station was renamed Gatwick Racecourse, even though racing had been abandoned in 1940 and not been re-instated after the Second World War. In fact the station had fallen out of use following the opening of the nearby Tinsley Green/Gatwick airport station (described below). However, during the early 1950s the airport was expanded and took over the land occupied by the racecourse, and the station was entirely rebuilt and integrated with the new airport terminal. The new buildings opened on 27 May 1958 with a regular train service, and the station took over the name Gatwick Airport.

Tinsley Green/Gatwick Airport Station

This was opened on 30 September 1935 and was sited 0.85 miles (1.37 km) south of the present station. It was originally named Tinsley Green but within a year became Gatwick Airport following the completion of the Beehive airport terminal which had a direct connection to the station. The airport was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force in 1940, but in 1952 the British government decided that it would form London's second airport. The station continued in operation until 27 May 1958 when the new Gatwick Airport station (above) opened. The station has been demolished and the only visible remains of the old station are sections of the former up slow line platform. Sections of the connecting subway between the station and the original terminal building (The Beehive) also survive.

Services
Northbound

The Gatwick Express operates every 15 minutes to London Victoria plus frequent Southern service to London Victoria and a more limited service to London Bridge. Since December 2008 Gatwick Express services have been extended, during peak hours, to and from Brighton. Southern have timetabled their services to London Victoria so that they arrive after a Gatwick Express train has just left, this discourages passengers transferring from stopping services to Gatwick Express services.

There is a First Capital Connect service every 15 minutes to Bedford, via London Bridge and St Pancras. First Great Western operate to Reading via Guildford on the North Downs Line.

General off-peak train service pattern per hour:

  • xx01 to East Croydon, London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St Pancras International, St Albans, Harpenden, Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick and Bedford (FCC)
  • xx03 to Redhill, Reigate, Dorking Deepdene, Guildford, North Camp, Blackwater, Wokingham and Reading (FGW)
  • xx05 to London Victoria (GX)
  • xx08 to Redhill, East Croydon, Clapham Junction and London Victoria (Southern)
  • xx16 to East Croydon, London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St Pancras International, St Albans, Harpenden, Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick and Bedford (FCC)
  • xx20 to London Victoria (GX)
  • xx23 to Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill, Merstham, Coulsdon South, Purley, East Croydon, Norwood Junction, New Cross Gate and London Bridge (Southern)
  • xx25 to East Croydon, Clapham Junction and London Victoria (Southern)
  • xx31 to East Croydon, London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St Pancras International, St Albans, Harpenden, Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick and Bedford (FCC)
  • xx35 to London Victoria (GX)
  • xx38 to East Croydon, Clapham Junction and London Victoria (Southern)
  • xx38 to Horley, Redhill, East Croydon, Clapham Junction and London Victoria (Southern)
  • xx46 to East Croydon, London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St Pancras International, St Albans, Harpenden, Luton Airport Parkway, Luton, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick and Bedford (FCC)
  • xx50 to London Victoria (GX)
  • xx53 to Horley, Redhill, Merstham, Coulsdon South, Purley, East Croydon, Norwood Junction and London Bridge (Southern)
  • xx55 to East Croydon, Clapham Junction and London Victoria (Southern)
Southbound

There are frequent First Capital Connect and Southern services to Brighton. Southern also run services to Horsham, Hove and further afield to Portsmouth, Southampton, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings and Ore.

Redevelopment

On the 13th October 2010, it was announced that a major redevelopment of the railway station at Gatwick with Network Rail had been unveiled.

The plan involves spending £53 million transforming the transport hub to increase the number of services passing through, along with passenger capacity. The project would see a new platform and refurbishing the concourse, as well as upgrading the track and signalling.

Construction work is due to start next autumn and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

Media

2 photos