‘Once-in-a-generation’ changes to rail links?

New Thameslink train at Blackfriars

New Thameslink train at Blackfriars - Credit: Archant

Changes to the Great Northern timetable proposed for 2018 will mean more rail routes from Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Potters Bar into London and beyond.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is looking for passenger’s views on the timetable changes in a consultation.

Some trains on the Great Northern line from Peterborough to London King’s Cross will transfer to Thameslink and go to London St Pancras and on to Farringdon, City Thameslink, London Blackfriars, London Bridge and East Croydon.

This will enable train users to access the Crossrail service at Farringdon, also proposed for 2018, which will provide links to Heathrow Airport, as well as links to Gatwick Airport via City Thameslink and Farringdon.

Other proposed improvements include an additional 48 carriages to address overcrowding on the route, and a proposed increase in the frequency of off-peak trains.

The metro stopping service between WGC, Hatfield, Welham Green, Brookmans Park, Potters Bar and Moorgate will have a much more frequent service if the proposals go ahead. Extra peak services will run up to 14 trains per hour, up from the current 12, during high peak times, and across the remaining peak hours trains will run up to 12 times per hour, up from the current 10.

Off-peak and Saturday frequency will increase from three times per hour on weekdays and two times per hour at weekends to four times per hour all week.

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The route to London King’s Cross and St Pancras will have new trains introduced in 2017, and new trains will be introduced on the metro route by 2018.

Phil Hutchinson, who is leading the timetable development and consultation for GTR, said: “This is a real opportunity for passengers and stakeholders get involved in an open, honest and transparent conversation about what the train service should be in the future.”

“This is about creating better connections and more capacity. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restructure the timetable to give passengers more trains and the much better reliability we all want.

Ultimately this will put the Thameslink route at the heart of the UK rail network.”

The consultation runs until 8 December and GTR teams are visiting stations across the network to raise awareness and ensure as many people as possible have an opportunity to respond.

To respond to the survey go to http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/your-journey/timetable-consultation