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Passengers asked to plan ahead for travel over Christmas in Sussex

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Network Rail have issued the following press release giving advance notice of timetable changes for the Brighton Mail Line and other Sussex services over the Christmas and New Year period:

The vast majority of the rail network in Sussex will be open for normal Christmas and New Year train services and passengers can travel with confidence with rigorous and extensive cleaning regimes in place.

Passengers are advised to continue to check before they travel as there will be changes to services on many longer-distance routes around the country, as well as on a few local routes, due to engineering works including the Gatwick Airport station upgrade project. Details on individual journeys, including the times of trains will be available in journey planners and on National Rail Enquiries.

An enhanced and rigorous cleaning regime is also in place across stations and trains in Sussex, enabling passengers to travel in confidence and safety. Those travelling are also reminded to continue following Government advice around the use of public transport – wear a face covering unless you are exempt, travel at quieter times and maintain a distance from other passengers wherever possible.

Shaun King, route director, Sussex said: “The work we are doing this Christmas and New Year will mean a better, more reliable railway for passengers. We are delivering a vital £150m upgrade to Gatwick Airport station to increase capacity, improve accessibility and transform the experience for more passengers, than ever before.

“Please continue to wear a face covering unless you are exempt, and plan your journey in advance”.

Angie Doll, Managing Director for Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “There will be some changes from the usual festive-period timetable, and some days will be busier than normal, so please plan well ahead by checking a journey planner, and avoid busy periods if you can.

“If you’re travelling over Christmas or New Year to see family and friends, rest assured we have been working hard behind the scenes to keep trains and stations clean and safe. At all times please remember the three golden rules – hands, face, space: wash or sanitise your hands before and after each trip, wear a face covering and keep a safe distance from other passengers.”

From Sunday 27 December 2020 until Sunday 3 January 2021, there will be changes to Southern and Thameslink services:

  • Southern services between London Victoria and Bognor Regis / Portsmouth & Southsea / Southampton will operate on diversion via Dorking. These services will not call at Gatwick Airport or nearby stations such as Crawley or Three Bridges.
  • Customers at Horsham or to the south that wish to travel to Gatwick Airport should plan to change trains at Horsham and to allow additional time for the connection. Thameslink services will operate on the route between Horsham, Gatwick Airport and London Bridge.
  • Southern / Gatwick Express services between London Victoria and Brighton will not operate Monday 28 December – Thursday 31 December or Saturday 2 January. Customers for Brighton to/from London or Gatwick Airport should plan to use Thameslink services to/from London Bridge.
  • The Thameslink Gatwick Airport to Bedford via Redhill service will start its journey at Three Bridges.

As usual, no trains will be in operation on Christmas Day, and there will be a limited Southern service on Boxing Day.

Passengers can find out how their Christmas journeys will be affected with their train operator, via National Rail Enquiries, or by following #ChristmasRailWorks on Twitter.