How to check what the May 2018 Timetable changes mean for you

You will have seen our commentary and submissions on the 2018 Timetable Consultation that has been run to deliver a new Timetable covering Southern, Gatwick Express, Great Northern, and Thameslink.

All of these changes are wrapped up in what’s called RailPlan20/20 and specially in our area many of our Southern Rail trains will be changed to Thameslink.

The new timetable has been published electronically (although some trains notable GWR which run from Reading to Gatwick via Reigate/Redhill) and a few Thameslink trains are missing).

Rail Plan 20/20

Every train in the timetable will have moved. Your usual train will NO LONGER be at the usual time and your journey duration will be different! 

To find out how your own personal journey will be impacted here’s what you can do to take a look right now.

1.  Head to your favourite online journey planner (this could be National Rail or Southern Rail or any of the Apps that provide train data.

2. Select your usual Journey (such as Earlswood to London Victoria) and the time of day that you would normally travel.

3. Update the date of your journey to be the 21 May 2018 (the first day of the new timetable being in place)

Note, if you put in a specific time of the train you would normally get you may want to wind back 30 mins at-least. Many trains will be running slightly earlier than they are currently timetabled.

For example:

The 06.42 from Earlswood to London Victoria calling at
– Redhill 06.46
– Merstham 06.50
– Coulsdon South 06.55
– Purley 06.59
– Easy Croydon 07.05
– Clapham Junction 07.17
– London Victoria 07.29

Giving a journey time of 47 min

Will become the the 06.30 Earlswood to London Victoria calling at
– Redhill 06.34
– Merstham 06.49
– Coulsdon South 06.54
– Purley 06.58
– East Croydon 07.04
– Clapham Junction 07.14
– London Victoria 07.22

Giving a ‘new an improved’ journey time of 52 min.

Would love to know what this means to YOUR journey and the impact it will have on your specific personal circumstances in the comments below. Not just earlier starts or longer journeys, but impacts on nursery, the school run, your working day, or onward travel when you arrive at hour destination in London or further south down the line.


39 Replies to “How to check what the May 2018 Timetable changes mean for you”

  1. Oh dear. The 09.13 from Reigate to London Bridge via Redhill has disappeared, replaced by a 9.06 or a 9.32. This is very inconvenient for those of us who connect at Redhill for the current 09.25 Thameslink to St Pancras (which becomes the 09.29). We have to get up earlier and have a 20-minute wait for our connection at Redhill.
    And question: will this new 09.06 train be an off-peak service, as the current 09.13 is?

    1. Best to interchange at London Bridge as all Thameslink trains will stop there rather than via the Crystal Palace route.

      I agree that Govia have done little for the daily commuter.

  2. Why the longer journey times? Are they allowing for more short delays in the timetable to improve their stats and save on Delay Repay money?

    1. Is your route to Victoria? The majority of Victoria trains now go up the slow line, and wait for a connection at Redhill.

  3. What a complete shambles.
    Redhill services completely downgraded – you can barely get further south than Gatwick on a direct service.
    Only being served by slow stopping services.

    Redhill has lost all fast peak services, journeys extended and loss of direct trains to in evening to coast.

    Why are all timetable ‘improvements’ made at the cost of the Redhill route.

    Horley has lost its direct service to Victoria completely, last direct service SX is 09:26, on Saturday it is 05:31 and Sunday 05:06 and then nothing all day!!!

    No direct services for Tonbridge line to London. This could be a much more used route is the trains ran through to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells like they used to. Now it has become a Redhill shuttle again!!!

  4. In my case, the first off peak train, that just gets me to the office in time, has been delayed by 10 minutes.
    Southern are able to increase their revenue at the expense of “customer” convenience . Fortunately, DfT monitors this closely and takes swift and resolute action.
    Hold on though, Southern don’t get the revenue increase on this franchise, DfT do.

  5. The only benefit I’ve seen is a direct redhill to Peterborough and stevenage service, beyond that all services have extended or cut (reigate direct service to London Bridge) añd the waiting time for changes from Reigate to London bridge services in the morning is 18 mins. This is stupidity at its finest and I would welcome an understanding from the planning team and anyone that signed this off thinking we would appreciate this “better service”.

    How can we challenge and change this?

  6. The impact has been so significant that I am moving my office closer to the train station in london. It will also most likely force me to drive daily to a different station. Lack of tables on new trains reduces my productivity as unable to work on commute in. Triple whammy!

  7. In the ‘consultation’ timetable, there was an 0829 train from Ashwell and Morden to London. This has now disappeared – it now only stops at Letchworth instead. This means there is effectively nothing to London (other than stopping trains which arrive later than the fast) between the 0813 and the 0900. What happened to the old 0839? This is peak time and yet there is nothing for 45 minutes – are you trying to make us all drive to Baldock and use the numerous services which you have starting there? Can you please reinstate the 0829 stop at Ashwell and Morden as in the consultation timetable?

  8. Thanks for forcing me to get to work 20 minutes earlier than usual and for forcing me to stay 30 minutes later by wrecking the timetable and reducing the amount of trains going through Berwick Sussex.
    You’ve obviously just extended journeys and made alterations, not improvements, in order to reduce delay repay schemes. The quicker this franchise is taken away from you, the better. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  9. Why does it appear that the Horley to Victoria morning route has gone from a “fast” direct train to a change at East Croydon which is longer. Equally the Clapham to Horley 56 past the hour train taking 24 minutes throughout the day (non rush hour) is non existant and replaced again with a change at East Croydon. I don’t understand why there are no longer direct trains anymore. Is this correct or have I failed to correctly use the future journey planner?? If I am correct this is unbelievable especially as there is no way of getting a connection train early in the morning via Gatwick as the train from Horley to Gatwick would mean a 27min wait between trains.. Please advise..

    1. James, you are not wrong. London Victoria trains will no longer serve Horley off-peak or at the weekends as I commented above.
      It is now only served by Thameslink services to London Bridge and beyond.
      They are only interested in running a train service to meet their own operating requirements.
      It wasn’t that long ago we used to demand Thameslink trains to call at Redhill and Horley but was refused because the trains then all ran to Brighton & this meant crossing the trains from the slow lines at Gatwick or Three Bridges which led to possible conflicts and potentially less train paths. Now Thameslink trains run from Horsham and are much slower means Horley and Redhill are served now by them and little else!!!

  10. I cannot believe that the Redhill stop has been removed from the late night 23:37 service from Brighton. This longstanding service was used by so many to return home late from the coast.
    The train still runs but with the Redhill stop removed, why?
    There is also no connection provided so passengers cannot use this service at all. They either have to leave earlier or wait later.

    It is clear that they are determined to ruin the timetable for Redhill passengers in every way possible. It is unbelievable.

    What is the reason behind removing the Redhill stop just to run the train fast through the station to the amusement of the passengers left stranded on the platform that would normally catch this train from Redhill to Croydon, London and beyond!!!

    1. Govia also got rid of the unofficial 1.00am London Victoria to Brighton service.

      They prefer to run empty trains via the fast line, less hassle and cost to them.

      Not stopping at Redhill when the train runs along that line is inexcusable.

      In many ways it is a worse service than before. This company should not keep its franchise.

  11. Wow… brilliant changes from Earslwood to London Bridge, Southern. Thank you very much! Another example of how your service has improved. Very pleased.

  12. Please explain how in the example given on your website showing an increase in journey time from 47 minutes to 52 minutes for Earlswood to Victoria is am improvement?

    1. Hi David,

      No one at RRDRUA suggests that it is an improvement! Although Southern Rail seem to think it is.

    2. It’s an ‘mproved’ journey according to the spin doctors at Southern andcwas quoted with a huge dose of sarcasm

  13. I don’t understand why the 16:27 from Farringdon to Bedford has been moved. This train did no have an impact on the East Midland train changes. It now turns out that I will get home 20 minutes later because I will need to catch the 16:31 which stops at more stations and means that I will now get in later than if I had caught the 17:00 East Midland train.

  14. Disgraceful, Bognor looses 06.05 and 06.40 direct departures to Victoria and gets one slower 0621 direct service. Other services across the network are similarly reduced and delayed. No doubt to try and avoid paying compensation for delays.
    This timetable is clearly for the benefit of Southern Shareholders, and shows the company’s total contempt for its passengers.

  15. Prior to 2015 there were two weekday direct peak hour trains from Reigate to London Bridge, a slow one 07:27 and a fast one 07:40.
    To allow for the improvement works at London Bridge this was cut to just the slow 07:27 service, on the promise of an improved service on completion in 2018.
    If I’m reading Southern’s new timetable correctly, from 21 May the number of direct trains from Reigate to London Bridge will be precisely ZERO.
    The only peak hour trains are the 07:06 and 07:36, both of which will go to London Victoria.
    Would Southern like to explain how removing the service completely is an improvement?

  16. Hello,
    Not only me lot of my colleagues who are travelling every day from Fratton to Falmer for work. We are all disappointed to see the new time table as it increased our traveing time by 20 mins. Fratton to Brighton travelling time and connecting time are completely rediculous. I think Southern train did not think about any connecting train time rather than they increased travelling time from Brighton to Falmer by 1 min. All travelling time should be reduced but they increased it only to save delay repayment money. They never think about customer. They run train 90% delay around the year. We are completely unhappy and angry with this new time table.

  17. Yes Southern putting themselves first, and this terible constants announcement by the Yank telling us how there going to make Southern Great Again. More seriously it was pointed out to me some time ago by a friend at Network Rail, that Southern are only interested in 3 destinations Victoria, Gatwick and Brighton, and this seams to true

  18. For me it means a longer commute in the morning and having to get up earlier.
    On a much lower level it is a shame as I have got the train with a friend for the past three years who I meet on the train from Horely in the morning.
    I am looking at other areas now which provide a good fast train service as this is a serious downgrade.

  19. Whilst I understand the new 12 car trains rule out a direct LBG service from Reigate, please can you explain why the departing train times do not connect with any LBG services at Redhill? You either just miss one or have a 20 minute wait. All this means is that those passengers wanting LBG will have to endure the often nightmare platform change at ECY onto what will already no doubt be a standing room only train.

    In addition, the times of the trains at peak are bunched together – reigate has a 7.20, 7.36, 08.00, 08.04 service – why bunch them around the hour and half hour? Why not a 45? Currently as it stands anyone with childcare commitments in the Reigate area will not be able to get a train before 0800 (earliest drop off is 07.30) or will be forced to drive to Redhill, where there aren’t enough parking spaces as it is.

    The return journey is just as bad – I will effectively have to get into work later and leave earlier in order to get home in time for childcare pick up. In an era where people are being encouraged to go back to work and to be working parents, why are the train services making this all but impossible?

  20. Both Me and my husband are pretty screwed over by these changes. We share school drop offs and pick ups during the week; he works in Crawley, I work in Westminster. Given the length of time a Victoria service now takes, I will be late for work on the days I drop our daughter at school. His journey time will double because there are no direct trains to Crawley except for very early services. Coming home for him is even worse. My journeys will take longer, and will not allow for school or nursery drop offs. We have been lied to by Southern Rail – there is no other way to describe it. We were told that the pain of the London Bridge works would be mitigated by an improved service – a patent untruth. Our services are, for the most part, far worse than they were before. Journeys are slower (sometimes by 100%), train times are unfeasible and we will spend less time together as a family (scarce enough as it is) because of this. And it’s clearly obvious that Southern/GTR do not care and will not change things.

  21. I have not even begun to research this but even by your example how is this an improvement when the journey time is increasing not decreasing???

  22. Less fast trains from Horley to London Victoria and first fast train is now 07:23, where as you had 2 between 06:00 – 07:00 as well. Not sure these are improvements for commuters if there is fewer trains doing the same thing than before. Maybe better for Southern rail costs etc but not thinking about the customer, unless I missed the survey before hand to see the impact of this.

  23. I am probably in the minority, but I’m actually looking forward to these changes. I’m lucky in that my work is fairly centrally located so whether I commute into Victoria, London Bridge or City Thameslink, I have options that don’t differ the overall commuting times. I see more trains per hour into London and options to get out of London that go through to the early hours back to Redhill. I’m kind of oblivious to the length of a journey into London now as due to congestion on the lines most days I never expect to run on time. I just hope through these changes that they keep to the times stated – otherwise it will be seen as a failure.

  24. Well, I can either leave my children to get out of the house on their own in the morning or I can be late for work. There is a glimmer of hope that there is one option that if the trains do run on time I might make it through the office doors just in time… I don’t hold my breath! Getting back I might actually be able to get a better-timed train… but it will rely on the connection working at Redhill..

  25. less trains south is quite right ! all services seem to be focused to victoria, London Bridge services from the south coast are 40 mins earlier or 20 mins later! who did the planning cos they obviously work from home and live in London. After all the strikes and delays, we now get this timetable !

  26. I’ve noticed that the Southern services operating between Reigate and Redhill in the evening will reduce from 3tph down to just 2tph.
    And the last Southern service of the night from Reigate to Redhill will now leave earlier at 23:00 rather than currently at 23:15.

    No doubt another great improvement!!!!

  27. I cannot believe that there will absolutely no direct trains from Brighton to Clapham Junction in the morning peak or back in the evening peak.

    Do GTR think that come 20th May that all of a sudden commuters will only want to travel to the new destinations on the their network rather than between stations on the existing network?

    My view of an improved timetable would be to run the trains to new destinations such as Peterborough in addition to the current train services. Not in place of them as to me that is not an improvement. Commuters cannot suddenly move their job or home to Peterborough to suit the rail service provided by GTR.

  28. As a general rule it seems that if you are not using Thameslink or Gatwick Express then your commute will be badly affected. My journey from Haywards Heath to Clapham Junction will be affected morning and evening. The 6:12 service now waits for additional coaches and so I miss my connection at Clapham Junction resulting in a 15 minute wait and in the evening the 17:12 to Brighton has disappeared.

  29. Obviously in making these changes no one has considered the masses of the 9,000+ students of the Sixth Form College Farnborough by pulling back the time leaving us all EVEN less time to run to the station that we have to leave lessons early for to be there anyway and not even mentioning the fact that these changed have taken away yet another carriage forcing everyone to cram into only 2 carriages with locked windows and heating turned on for half an hour while we all pay £700 a term for the tickets

  30. There is no trains from horley to Clapham junction. It a bloody slow train change at redhill or east Croydon. Extra hour each day 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

  31. This is disgusting – we had a good service from Horley (fast trains to Victoria and until recently trains hourly all night) Things are going backwards. Fed up with it. Things should get better not worse!!

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