Thameslink train pulling into a station Image: Thameslink

Thameslink and Southern will introduce a reduced weekday timetable on Monday 26 July 2021 across five routes, with passengers being strongly advised to check before they travel.

The Thameslink routes affected are:

  • Between Sutton and St Albans City via Wimbledon and via Hackbridge
  • Between Gatwick Airport and Bedford

The service group between Bedford and Gatwick Airport via Horley, Salfords, Earlswood and Redhill will not run. Alternative trains will call at Earlswood and Salfords hourly throughout the day.

This will mean a reduced service from Bedford to London with two services between Bedford, London and Brighton running per hour. During the peak hours there are extra trains that will still run during this amended timetable.

The Southern routes affected are:

  • Between Beckenham Junction and London Bridge via Dulwich
  • Between London Bridge and Caterham/Tattenham Corner
  • Between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction/Milton Keynes
    • Southern will run two services per day in each direction:
    • 05.27 Balham to Milton Keynes Central
    • 07.01 Milton Keynes Central to Selhurst
    • 17.16 Selhurst to Milton Keynes Central
    • 19.16 Milton Keynes Central to Selhurst
    • At other times, passengers will need to use London Overground and London Northwestern Railway services for stations on this route

Thameslink and Southern have seen a significant rise in colleagues needing to isolate in recent weeks. This, combined with the knock-on impact and disruption of COVID-19 over the past 17 months means that there are fewer colleagues available to operate services at present.

By bringing in a reduced weekday timetable now, passengers will have more certainty about services and experience fewer short notice cancellations.

However, the train companies said that it is still possible additional changes will need to be made on the day including at weekends.

Where possible, the weekday changes are focused on lines where there is overlap at stations with other train services or there are alternative transport choices.

They have also been chosen in places where new services can be created by adding station stops on alternative trains to help passengers complete their journeys.

Steve White, chief operating officer for Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Thameslink and Southern, said:

“Regrettably, we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce some weekday services.

“Unfortunately, like other industries across the country, coronavirus continues to affect our operations. We have fewer colleagues available at the moment due to a significant increase recently in the number of our people affected by COVID-19.

“Our colleagues have continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic and we’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused by the latest changes.

“By bringing in a reduced timetable now, it will help to reduce short notice cancellations and give customers more certainty. We strongly advise passengers to check before they travel, including at weekends.”

Passengers travelling with Thameslink or Southern should check before they travel, including at weekends, with the latest information available in planners such as National Rail Enquiries from Sunday 25 July 2021.

Due to a technical limitation, it is not possible to update journeys in more than seven days in advance. Journey planners will be updated for the following week, by Sunday of the previous week.