Govia and Gatwick to work together to provide more seamless transition for passengers between rail and air

  • Gatwick’s partnership with Govia will transform rail services to and from Gatwick Airport
  • Brand new Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains plus more reliable services will connect even more people to Gatwick and the region
  • Gatwick will be ‘second runway ready’ by road and rail by 2021

LONDON, 2014-9-16 — /Travel PR News/ — The launch of Govia’s Thameslink and Great Northern rail services – the UK’s largest rail franchise – is another crucial milestone in the transformation of rail services to Gatwick Airport. Brand new Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains, better stations, and more reliable services will connect even more people to the heart of London, Southeast England and key regional centres north of capital.

Govia and Gatwick will enter into a partnership to work together on every aspect of the provision of rail services which will result in a more seamless transition for passengers between rail and air. Govia will appoint a Gatwick Express Passenger Service Director who will work with the airport to design and operate a service that is specifically designed to meet the needs of passengers.

From service strategy and communication to improvements in passenger experience and station enhancements, passengers will start to see the benefits of this partnership within the next year.

Progressive improvements will also greatly improve resilience and mean that Gatwick will be ‘second runway ready’ by road and rail by 2021, whether or not the Airports Commission supports Gatwick’s bid.

The rail improvements which the Govia franchise will help deliver include:

  • Brand new Gatwick Express trains in service by 2016
  • Brand new Thameslink trains in service by 2018
  • New direct connections to Peterborough and Cambridge
  • A train to central London every 2.5 minutes by 2019
  • Quicker journey times to the West End and City, than from Heathrow
  • 15 million people brought within 60 minutes of Gatwick
  • 1,000 rail stations within one change, including links to all UK main rail lines, Crossrail and HS2.

Govia will transform the dedicated non-stop Gatwick Express service with brand new, high quality trains between London Victoria and the airport. With the new Thameslink trains, rail capacity will be doubled by 2020 which means 10,000 additional seats to the capital every hour, transforming rail services for air passengers, the local community, and commuters.

Gatwick is already the best connected airport in the UK and offers direct rail services to129 stations. By 2019, rail services will be extended to serve 175 stations directly and more than 1,000 stations with one change.

Gatwick Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said:

“The transformation of Gatwick’s rail access is gathering pace and our partnership with Govia and the improvements planned will lead to a better passenger experience – it will provide passengers with more choice and higher quality services to and from more places.

“There will be a train to Central London every two and a half minutes and the overall journey time into the heart of London’s business district will be faster and more frequent.

“By 2025, when a new runway could be operational, capacity and frequency of services will be better still, much more resilient to disruption, and this will benefit not just the airport but the whole region as well.”

Gatwick’s transport network is well connected to the North, South, East and West and has a huge reach. Some 3.2 million people live within 30 minutes of the airport and almost 15 million live within 60 minutes. An expanded Gatwick will increase the cost effectiveness of the rail network by increasing the number of people on off-peak trains as well as providing passengers for trains operating in the opposite direction to peak commuter services.

Notes to Editors

  • Gatwick has produced a document outlining that the airport will be ‘road and rail ready’ for a second runway by 2021; it can be accessed here.
  • There is an animated representation of Gatwick’s surface access case which can be viewedhere.
  • Travel times from Gatwick to key destinations in London are shorter than from other airports:
    Destination Travel Time
    Westminster and the West End (Victoria) 30 minutes
    Business District (London Bridge) 30 minutes
    Crossrail (Farringdon) Under 40 minutes
    King’s Cross St Pancras Around 40 minutes
    Canary Wharf (via London Bridge) 40 minutes
    Waterloo (via Clapham Junction) 40 minutes

For more information contact:

Gatwick Airport press office

t: + 44 (0) 1293 505000

About London Gatwick
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for more than 36 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South-East region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is 28 miles south of London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.

In its December 2013 interim report, the Airports Commission included London Gatwick and Heathrow on its shortlist of potential locations for a new runway in the UK. Expansion at Gatwick will best meet the UK’s aviation needs for the future, can provide the greatest economic boost with the least environmental impact, and a new runway can be operational by 2025. For further information, see:

Follow us on Twitter at