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Passengers will face difficulty over Easter as there will be no trains running from Victoria to Sussex and Gatwick Airport.

There are plans for Network Rail to rebuild a critical junction at Battersea Park and as a result there will be no Gatwick Express or Southern trains from Victoria.

There will be services from Southern and Thameslink, which will run trains from London to the coast and Gatwick Airport. Trains will run from London Bridge and London Blackfriars.

Subject to improvement work further afield in Kent, Southeastern services from the station will run as normal.

Buses will replace trains on the Horsham line to Arundel in West Sussex. This is due to work to replace timbers on a railway bridge over the River Arun. Passengers are advised that this will add around one hour to their journey times on that route.Southern

There will be major changes to Southern and Gatwick Express services this Christmas and New Year due to engineering works taking place.

Southern has urged passengers to check before they travel over the Christmas period and also to allow extra time for their journey because of the disruption.

The Network Rail project at Purley will sever the main line, which means that there will be changes to trains to Gatwick Airport from London and coastal services to London from 11pm on Christmas Eve until 4am on Monday 4th January.

As a result, there will be no trains between South Croydon and Redhill and no Thameslink services between East Croydon and Three Bridges. Travelling by train between London and the coast will still be viable however, the journeys will be diverted and take longer and be busier.

There will be bus replacements to make sure that passengers can complete their journeys during this busy time.

“This is a major piece of engineering work by Network Rail and when finished, will provide a more reliable infrastructure at a critical point on our network,” said a Southern and Gatwick Express spokesperson. “We’re putting arrangements in place to keep passengers moving while these essential works are being done.”

Although the Gatwick Express service will not run over Christmas, travelling by train to Gatwick Airport from Brighton or coastal stations will not be affected.

Details of Christmas service routes and frequencies can be found here.

Details of journeys and train times are now available here.

Southern has been shortlisted for a number of awards at this year’s Community Rail awards, recognising a range of community and passenger improvement programmes.

The awards, organised by the Association of Community Rail Partnership Awards, provide an opportunity to recognise the unsung heroes and heroines of the community rail world, recognising hard work and dedication.

Southern has been shortlisted as finalists in the following categories:

Community Art Schemes – Renewable and Small Projects – Purley station subway art mural, which saw Southern work with a local school to produce a stunning piece of art to brighten up the subway. The work was the suggestion of one of the local team and the children used the local town and its location as the inspiration for the mural.

Most Enhanced Station Building – Development of Hassocks station. Over recent years Hassocks station has been transformed, with a brand new building, which is both modern and blended into the local area, and made accessible, with new lifts. Alongside this the station’s partnership has provided beautiful flowers and the new cycle hub includes a community-run bike hire shop.

Passengers Matter – This Is Me campaign, brought together feedback from passengers with access needs to create posters, leaflets and videos. For staff this has become part of the training and team brief process. The material was also used to promote the assistance services Southern offer to passengers. The campaign has been extremely well received, with our assistance feedback improving to an even higher standard.

Southern is also shortlisted with the Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) for two projects: the National Citizenship Project art mural at London Road (Brighton) and Chatsmore art project. The SCRP works closely with Southern across the south of the network and has a further four shortlistings with other partners too.

Winners of the awards will be announced on 1st October.

The new Passenger Services Directors are setting out plans as the train company Southern joins the Govia Thameslink franchise.

Southern and Gatwick Express retained their identity when they became part of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise (GTR) on the 26th July.

David Scorey, the Passenger Services Director for Southern Mainline and Coast, said: “One of my key priorities is to improve the reliability of our services. With the new timetable in place our passengers should already have noticed a change for the better, and we will work hard to continue this progress.”

The GTR franchise will see the introduction of three new train fleets, 10,000 additional peak-time seats into London, a £50 million investment in station improvements and a transformation in train travel in 2018 when it is completed by the Thameslink Programme.

There are more improvements planned for the franchise and to find more detail about what can be expected click here.

“Many passengers already use ticketing smartcards and I aim to build on this, as it’s not just more convenient, but also helps us to understand passengers’ travel needs,” said Alex Foulds, the Passenger Services Director for Southern Metro. “I’ll also make sure that they have clean and well-maintained stations and trains, with good facilities and shops.”

The investment in GTR means that there is funding available for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, retail facilities, help points and car park improvements. In addition, there are plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.

The new franchise holds 22% of all UK passengers, employs 6,500 people, and has £1.3 billion annual revenue and a £50 million investment to enhance all 239 stations. There will also be an upgrade to trains, with 1,398 new train carriages and additional morning peak seats into London.

Angie Doll, the Passenger Services Director for Gatwick Express, said: “My overall priority is to improve passengers’ experience of travelling on Gatwick Express from start to finish, so we’re working much more closely with Gatwick Airport to make sure our services are integrated.”

GTR release a twice-yearly customer report called Connections. Readers of this will be able to keep track of whether GTR has met its targets and commitments and also read about GTR’s plans for the future. Customers will also be able to read about the improvements that the franchise has made according to the feedback they got from the public.

Connections can be downloaded here.

More information can be found on the Southern railway website and the Gatwick Express website.