THE full 24-train-per-hour Thameslink timetable has been postponed until December 2019, despite the necessary infrastructure improvements and fleet of new Class 700 EMUs being ready for December 2018.
An interim service will be implemented from May 2018 featuring 18 trains per hour, which will provide 70% of the capacity benefits. As a preliminary to that, a number of services from the Midlands route will be diverted via London Bridge in January 2018, with Canal Junction coming into use from April 2018 to allow Great Northern services to run through the central core. These arrangements have been brought forward to allow greater scope for route learning and testing of equipment for Automatic Train Operation.
The May 2018 timetable will see the introduction of services between Peterborough and Horsham via Gatwick Airport; Cambridge and Brighton; Luton and the Kent Medway towns; and link Bedford with East Grinstead and Littlehampton. The intended through trains between Cambridge and Maidstone will terminate at King’s Cross and Blackfriars respectively.
Read more in the January issue, on sale now.