For travel on or after 10 December, journey planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk have already been updated to include the new train times so customers can plan their journeys.
As an overview, most train services are unchanged in the new timetable. However, in certain locations, we are making small changes and improvements to our timetables in response to stakeholder and customer feedback.
This will mean that some customers will see extra trains to reflect increased demand, such as in Harpenden and East Grinstead, extra stops to improve connections, such as in Preston Park and Hassocks, or extra carriages to provide more space on trains for customers, such as in the Sutton area.
There are though also changes to the Southern service between Redhill and Tonbridge to better align its weekday service to demand. This will see the service run as hourly for most of the day, with some additional services during trains at school and peak times.
We have worked hard with local stakeholders and rail user groups on this route to best schedule our services around key times, such as school start and finish times, to minimise any effect the reduction in service could have on customer journeys as far as we can.
Across our network as a whole though, our new timetable will see small improvements being delivered thanks to stakeholder feedback and collaboration, leading to improved services for customers.
The briefing below explains the changes coming in the Winter timetable in more detail but, as always, should you have any questions or ideas for future improvements, please do get in touch.
The December Timetable 2023 comes into effect from Sunday 10 December 2023. The summary below describes the main changes, but as with all timetable changes, we will be encouraging customers to check and plan their journeys using a journey planner such as at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Redhill to Tonbridge
The current Monday to Friday timetable is formed of an hourly off-peak service and a half-hourly peak and school time service. At weekends, the service is hourly all day.
Following a review, the Monday to Friday service will now be hourly at all times, with some additional services targeted at school and peak times, with school traffic being the main source of use on the route.
The weekend service will remain hourly, but there will be some changes to early morning and late evening train times.
As it is a fresh timetable, we have not listed every individual change, but would encourage customers to check and plan their journeys using a journey planner such as at www.nationalrail.co.uk
West London Line
In response to customer and stakeholder requests, on weekdays, there will be an additional service extended from Watford Junction to Hemel Hempstead and back.
The 10:10 East Croydon to Watford Junction is now extended to Hemel Hempstead to arrive 11:28.
The 11:52 Watford Junction to East Croydon will start from Hemel Hempstead at 11:38.
Horsham / Dorking to London Victoria via Hackbridge
On weekdays the 08:17 Horsham to London Victoria Southern via Hackbridge service will be lengthened from 5 cars to 8 cars owing to high demand on this train. This will bring it into line with the remainder of the morning peak which are 8 or 10 carriage services.
Previously, several Saturday trains on the route were lengthened from 5 cars to 8 or 10 cars in stages in September and October to address some high use on individual trains.
Brighton to Eastbourne
There will be additional stops at Glynde and Berwick on the last train from Brighton to Eastbourne, Monday to Saturday, departing Brighton at 23:32 following customer requests.
Brighton to Seaford
Additional weekday station stops will be introduced at Newhaven Harbour to create an hourly service, increased to half-hourly at busier times.
Bedford to East Grinstead / Three Bridges / Elephant & Castle
A set of connected changes are being introduced to provide additional peak time capacity between Bedford and St Pancras International, and an additional off-peak service between East Grinstead and London.
- A new service, formed of an 07:15 Bedford to Three Bridges service will run. This will provide an additional faster service for journeys towards central London with calls at Leagrave, Luton, Harpenden and St Albans.
- The existing 07:03 Bedford to Three Bridges service (arriving Three Bridges 08:59) will now run to East Grinstead. This will create an 09:14 East Grinstead to London Bridge service, arriving 10:10.
- The existing 07:11 Bedford to Elephant & Castle service will now start at Luton at 07:31.
Brighton to Cambridge
In response to stakeholder requests, there will be additional stops at Preston Park and Hassocks on the Brighton to Cambridge Thameslink services in the AM and PM peaks.
In the morning the current 06:14, 06:44, 07:14, 07:44, 08:14 and 08:44 from Brighton to Cambridge are retimed to leave 5 mins earlier and call at Hassocks and Preston Park.
This will mean that they will depart Brighton at 06:09, 06:39, 07:09, 07:39, 08:09 and 08:39.
In the evening peak, the 14:53, 15:23, 15:53, 16:23,16:53 and 17:24 departures from Cambridge to Brighton will call at Hassocks and Preston Park. From London Bridge, it will be departures to Brighton at 1615, 1645, 1715, 17:45, 1815, 1845. These services will arrive into Brighton three minutes later than currently (21 and 51 rather than 18 and 48).
This will provide both Preston Park and Hassocks four trains per hour to/from London Bridge in the AM and PM peaks, compared to two trains per hour today.
There are no changes planned for Great Northern services in December 2023.