I have received today (30th Dec), as I expect many constituents have, the following urgent notice from GTR about changes to services from Tuesday 4th January as a result of high levels of staff absence due to Covid. As a regular commuter into London Victoria myself, I fully recognise that this will cause disruption for many and it will be important to plan ahead which services are available. I understand that the National Rail site has already been updated to reflect these essential changes and a summary of the changes is included below.
We are sorry to update you that Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern services will run to a reduced weekday timetable from Tuesday 4 January 2022 until further notice. Gatwick Express services will be suspended with trains and crew used to support Southern services.
We know this will be difficult for our customers and we are very sorry.
This change is in response to a significant reduction in traincrew, service planning, controllers and other critical staff availability as the rise in coronavirus cases sees more staff needing to isolate. We understand how disappointing this news is, and our colleagues are working to find the best possible solution.
By reducing the size of the planned service in proportion to the number of staff expected to be available, we reduce unexpected cancellations, which we know are frustrating to our customers, and provide greater certainty over which trains will and will not run so customers can plan their journeys.
However, with the limited time available, which is insufficient to design a new timetable, the only option available is to continue the weekday service that was planned to run between the 29th and 31st of December.
This means that trains will start and finish earlier than usual and will mostly run to Saturday-style timings.
Importantly, as this timetable was originally designed to support the closure of London Victoria, many Southern trains will remain on diversion, including to London Bridge. It means there will be no Southern or Gatwick Express service at London Victoria, Battersea Park, Clapham Junction or Wandsworth Common until Monday 10th January. Services will be progressively reintroduced from Monday 10th January.
Customers will need to allow additional time and may need to take alternative routes, such as travelling via London Bridge or taking a Thameslink train onto other parts of central London. Some school journeys may be affected, and we are working to add additional station calls and similar wherever we can using the information that stakeholders have helped us to develop over previous years.
Customer communications will start today to provide as much notice as possible, train times have been updated at www.nationalrail.co.uk
We will modify this timetable as best we can in response to feedback and will be in touch again during the week of the 4th January to detail changes to London Victoria services from Monday 10th January 2022.
A summary of the main changes for the week of the 4th January 2022 is below. From Monday 10th January, services will start to be reintroduced to London Victoria.
Southern / Gatwick Express
No services to or from London Victoria
There will be no Southern or Gatwick Express services at London Victoria, Battersea Park, Clapham Junction or Wandsworth Common. Southern services on the following routes will be diverted north of East Croydon to London Bridge:
- Ore – Hastings – Eastbourne – London
- Littlehampton – Hove – London
- Southampton/Portsmouth Harbour/Bognor Regis – Horsham – London
- East Grinstead – London
- Horsham – Dorking – Epsom – London
In addition, Southern Metro services via Streatham Common/Streatham Hill that normally run to/from London Victoria will terminate at/start from Balham. There will be no direct service between Mitcham Junction and Balham.
Brighton to London Victoria Gatwick Express services will be suspended in the week of 4th January 2022.
Reigate to London Victoria services will remain on diversion to form an hourly service between Reigate and Tonbridge.
London Bridge to London Victoria
This service is suspended.
Epsom to London Bridge via Carshalton Beeches
This service is suspended.
Milton Keynes Central to Clapham Junction
This service is suspended.
London Bridge to East Croydon via New Cross Gate, Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, Sydenham, Penge West and Norwood Junction
This service is suspended. Alternative Southern services will call at New Cross Gate. For travel between London Bridge and Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, Sydenham or Penge West, customers are to use London Overground, changing trains at New Cross Gate or Norwood Junction.
Redhill to Tonbridge
Redhill to Tonbridge services will run Reigate to Tonbridge via Redhill on an hourly basis.
Caterham / Tattenham Corner to London Bridge
Caterham to London Bridge services via Tulse Hill will run and will split and join with another train at Purley to provide a service to Tattenham Corner on a half-hourly basis.
Uckfield to London Bridge
Services will run between Uckfield and East Croydon only every hour.
Beckenham Junction to London Bridge via Tulse Hill
Two trains per hour will run on this route.
Welwyn Garden City / Stevenage to Moorgate
Two trains per hour will run on each branch, combining to provide up to four trains per hour between Moorgate and Alexandra Palace.
Cambridge to London King’s Cross – stopping service via Potters Bar
Two trains per hour will run in the Royston to London King’s Cross section of this route. One train per hour will continue between Royston and Cambridge serving Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton.
Orpington to Luton – peak only
Peak only services between Orpington and Luton via Catford will not run.
Sutton to St Albans / Luton
Four trains per hour will run between Sutton and London Blackfriars via Tulse Hill. Two trains per hour will continue to Luton via St Pancras International.
Luton to Rainham
Luton to Rainham services will run in the Dartford to Rainham section of the route only.