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Southeastern trains 2015 timetable published.

Southeastern has today published the proposed timetable for January 2015 at www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/your-journey/timetables/januarytimetable/, giving passengers advance notice about upcoming improvements to services and the changes needed to accommodate construction work at London Bridge station.

The work at London Bridge is part of the £6.5 billion government-sponsored Thameslink Programme – which will dramatically increase capacity on one of Europe’s busiest stretches of railway.

Once complete, the station will include new platforms for more trains and a huge new concourse. Work will also commence on untangling the track southeastern-CharingX1-trainsoutside the station, which will reduce delays from trains crossing pathways and waiting outside the station for platforms to clear.

From January 2015, work will commence on Southeastern’s platforms 4, 5 and 6 and the approaching track and signalling. Southeastern’s new timetable includes the service changes required for when construction work starts and also provides new long-term improvements developed to provide extra services and new journey opportunities.

The Southeastern trains 2015 timetable has been developed following consultation with passengers and stakeholders.

The principal changes to services to accommodate the Thameslink construction include:

  • Charing Cross trains won’t stop at London Bridge from January 2015 until August 2016. Then Cannon Street trains won’t stop there until early 2018
  • Greenwich line services will no longer run direct to Charing Cross and will only run to Cannon Street, and there will be fewer peak trains (one less train in the morning peak, and three less trains in the evening peak). The line will be served by longer trains to boost capacity in the peak hour
  • New Cross and St Johns trains will only run to Cannon Street
  • Some trains will be diverted to London Blackfriars instead of Cannon Street or Charing Cross
  • Longer metro trains to increase capacity
  • Longer opening hours for Cannon Street station (0500-0100), including all day opening on Sundays. (Cannon Street tube station to also offer longer opening hours)
  • Diversion of some trains on Metro and Mainline services such as from Rochester, Broadstairs, Ashford, Dover and Orpington into London Blackfriars
  • All current Rochester to Bedford and Ashford to Bedford services (and vice versa) will start and  terminate at London Blackfriars
  • Catford Loop services no longer part of the Southeastern timetable (as these will have transferred to the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise in December)

Long-term service improvements include:

  • Highspeed:
    • A new Highspeed ‘rounder’ service improving connections between London and North / East Kent, providing another choice of London terminal
    • Highspeed trains will stop at Snodland, Birchington-on-Sea, Martin Mill and Walmer for the first time
    • Extra seats on the Highspeed service (with 698 seats at Ashford in the morning peak and 349 extra seats from Ebbsfleet.)
    • Two additional Highspeed trains from Margate and Broadstairs creating a half hourly service at these stations in the morning peak
    • An additional Highspeed service from Ramsgate via Canterbury to St Pancras
    • A reduction of splitting and joining on the Mainline and Highspeed services
    • A new hourly direct off-peak service between Maidstone East and Canterbury West
    • A new fast service from Hastings to Charing Cross departing at 0804 and a Charing Cross to Hastings service departing at 1620, offering a 90 minute journey time
    • A new peak hour service from Maidstone East to Blackfriars departing at 0845
    • A new Blackfriars to Maidstone East service departing at 0719
    • New additional services between Dartford and London Victoria at 0640 and then new later services half hourly from 1905 until 2308 (Dartford to Victoria) and from 2039 until 0009 (Victoria to Dartford)
    • A new direct through-service between London Victoria and Sheerness-on-Sea (two trains in  the morning peak and two trains in the evening peak)

hastings-train-stationSoutheastern have said that they are committed to providing improvements to services and keeping passengers informed during the London Bridge work, and they say that today’s announcement is the first stage in assisting its customers with forward-planning for the period.

The company has stated that it is also working together with the transport industry through the Travel Demand Management Board to co-ordinate planning – and more detailed information, including routing advice will be communicated over the coming months.  The rail industry is also working out how these specific service changes affect ticketing, with the objective that customers shouldn’t be out of pocket while Network Rail is doing this crucial work.

Charles Horton, managing director of Southeastern, said: “The project to rebuild London Bridge station is an enormous challenge and one of the biggest railway construction projects since the Second World War.

“The government investment will provide a brand new station with a concourse the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium, new journey opportunities to the north and south of England, and this will untangle the railway lines to remove the bottleneck we experience today.

“This will however, mean our passengers, particularly those who use London Bridge station will need to change their travel patterns while the work is carried out. We’ve got a huge job to provide a service that meets demand at a time when track capacity has much reduced, and we’ve developed a timetable – with new journey opportunities, longer trains and later services to help meet that challenge. 

“We consulted with our customers and stakeholders to develop our plans and this timetable balances the competing needs of passengers with the infrastructure constraints.

“Today we’ve released the timetables early, so that customers can look at the changes and start to plan ahead, and as we move closer to 11 January 2015, when the Southeastern trains 2015 timetable takes effect, we’ll be ramping up our efforts to keep people informed.”