Network Rail has launched a consultation about adding a 3rd platform to Reigate Station.
While the consultation doesn’t open until the 24th February, they have started promoting it through leaflets, posters, and listing several public meetings where you can meet Network Rail staff, see the plans, and ask questions.
There were some comments on a local parent network Facebook group about the impact of Platform 3 at Reigate and while we posted there also we wanted to post the comments here for a broader audience to see them.
So first off some facts.
At the moment it is just a consultation by Network Rail and opens for feedback on the 24th February. In all reality, if it goes ahead, this new platform won’t likely appear for 2-3 years at the very earliest!
In May 2018 Reigate lost it’s direct trains to London Bridge and instead, a frustrating solution of joining 2x four coach trains at Redhill replaced it. Most Reigate passengers (based on passenger data at the time) want to go to London Bridge so have to change.
The Earlswood/Salfords Victoria train service was significantly slowed down as it has to sit at Redhill for about 10mins to wait for the Reigate half and the attachment. Inevitably things go wrong:
– One portion of the train could go missing (fault/driver not available/issue somewhere on the line)
– The connection (or separation) might not work.
– When things go wrong four coach trains run into London which is normally full by Coulsdon South!
– In the off-peak, these services are timetabled to run as a four coach train between Reigate and Victoria only.
So what’s proposed here.
The 3rd platform at Reigate to allow a Thameslink train to pull into Reigate, terminate and then go back. It is returning a London Bridge Service for Reigate and ads resilience to the network. When issues occur on the network, it gives GTR somewhere to turn back trains off the Brighton Mainline if there’s a problem further down the line.
It will likely mean that Reigate will lose it’s Victoria Service. But you will be one station away from a change at Redhill that will be much more reliable.
What does it mean for Earlswood and Salfords?
No timetable changes have been drawn up yet as an impact of this new platform as it’s only in the consultation stage.
GTR has said that there will be NO changes to the PEAK – So trains to London Bridge and Victoria as they are now. The morning trains into London will still run, and you’ll get back again in the evening. During the day it’s likely that the service will be a Victoria Service.
It also means that it’s highly likely that more trains will be available to these stations as there will no longer be a short four coach Victoria train trundling through and waiting at Redhill blocking a platform. So Longer trains coming up and potentially more destinations. Suggestions for getting Horsham Trains back through Merstham/Redhill/Earlswood/Salfords etc. giving local access to stations south (perhaps not surprisingly commuters don’t all go to London!)
A rumour suggests Earlswood will only get 1 train per hour
There has been no comment from GTR about reducing Thameslink trains to 1 per hour in the peak at Earlswood/Salfrods.
There is no timetable for what the train services will look like after Regiate platform three has been developed – and any activity would likely go through a consultation with stakeholders and rail passengers.
The RRDRUA has had direct conversations with the timetable team who told us at the meeting ‘no peak changes’ at Earlswood!)
We fully support Reigate Platform 3 as it will serve to benefit rail users from all of our local stations.
Rebuilding the station at Gatwick
As a side note while work is carried out at Gatwick Station to rebuild the platforms and the concourse – changes in the May 2020 timetable suggest that Earlswood and Salfrods will only be served by one train per hour on Sundays.
At the RRDRUA we’re challenging this with GTR – with our view that the service level at this station should not reduce while the works take place.