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Winter Timetable

Great Northern services from 10 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

Download the current timetables below. There may be additional on-the-day alterations, so it is essential that you recheck your journey at nationalrail.co.uk immediately before travelling, particularly if travelling overnight and at weekends when engineering work may take place. A list of planned engineering work is shown here this work may not yet be reflected in journey planners.

Download the current timetables below.

Summer Timetable from 19 May 2019

See below for information about Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday services for the Summer Timetable from 19 May 2019.

Monday to Friday

An additional Thameslink service will operate each hour, doubling the frequency between Cambridge and Brighton at peak times and during the day, calling at stations on the Cambridge branch, Stevenage, Hitchin, then on through central London to Brighton via Gatwick Airport.

Most Great Northern services will continue to operate to the current timetable.

Two bus services will replace trains between Stevenage and Hertford North and between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone all day throughout this timetable. This will continue until a fifth platform has been built at Stevenage.

Plan your journey now

Use the journey planner at: nationalrail.co.uk

Saturday

A new hourly Thameslink service will operate between Cambridge and Brighton, calling at stations on the Cambridge branch, Stevenage, Hitchin, then on through central London to Brighton via Gatwick Airport.

A revised Great Northern service will operate on the Cambridge route, with a second ‘Cambridge Flyer’ each hour.

Other Great Northern Saturday services will continue to operate to the current timetable.

Please check for alterations before you travel, as engineering work often takes place at weekends.

Plan your journey now

Use the journey planner at: nationalrail.co.uk

Sunday

A new hourly Thameslink service will operate between Cambridge and Gatwick Airport, calling at stations on the Cambridge branch, Stevenage, Hitchin, then on through central London to Gatwick Airport.

Great Northern Sunday services will continue to operate to the current timetable.

Please check for alterations before you travel, as engineering work often takes place at weekends.

Plan your journey now

Use the journey planner at: nationalrail.co.uk

Stevenage platform work

For further information about the new Stevenage platform please visit our information page.

Frequently asked questions

See our FAQs for the Summer timetable. Timetable PDFs can be downloaded from further down the page.

What is happening in the Summer timetable?

The Summer timetable starts on Sunday 19 May 2019. We are introducing new services to provide increased capacity between Cambridge and Brighton, as well as expanding our weekend services on Thameslink with a combination of new and restored services.

Most existing journeys will stay the same, but please check your individual journey, as you may be affected by times changing by a few minutes to improve punctuality.

On weekdays, we will introduce a second Thameslink train each hour, between Brighton and Cambridge. There are also new early-morning services between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport. The new Thameslink service will provide space for an extra 1,750 people every hour in both directions. In response to passenger feedback we are also adding additional stops on selected services, with Gatwick Express stops at Preston Park and Thameslink stops at Royston, Letchworth and Knebworth.

On Saturdays, an additional 180 trains will operate on Thameslink. This includes a new service between Brighton and Cambridge connecting with Gatwick Airport and through central London. There will also be another fast service each hour between London King’s Cross and Ely. In addition Thameslink services between Bedford and Gatwick Airport and between Kentish Town and Rainham increase to four and two trains per hour respectively.

On Sundays, an additional 100 trains will operate on Thameslink. This includes a new service between Cambridge and Gatwick Airport through central London. We will also increase Thameslink services between Bedford and Gatwick Airport and between Kentish Town and Rainham to four and two trains per hour respectively. Some afternoon Thameslink services between Sutton and Blackfriars will be extended to operate to and from St Albans City.

Where can I find details of the changes?

Plan your individual journey online using the journey planner at nationalrail.co.uk.

Timetable PDFs are available to download below, printed copies will be available at stations from 20 April 2019.

Most existing journeys will stay the same, however to improve connections, punctuality and to reduce the potential for delays, some departures may change by a couple of minutes. Please check before you travel!

Is it all going to go smoothly?

Yes. Our Winter timetable was introduced smoothly last December and we are again preparing carefully to ensure a similar positive outcome this time.

Will there be further timetable changes?

Yes. We have submitted our plans for the next timetable change in December 2019. These plans are subject to industry approval. This and future timetable changes will look to balance maximum possible space for passengers with reliability and punctuality.

Why can’t you add another stop on a service – it will only take a minute or two longer?

The timetable is designed to manage the interactions between not only our 3,600+ daily trains, but also with the train services of other train operators. Each train is timed to the nearest 30 seconds to ensure integrated operation with others at junctions, platforms and congested parts of the railway. It is very important that each train has a schedule agreed with Network Rail and is able to run exactly on time.

If we add additional stops to a service we need to allow extra time and even a couple of minutes can change the performance of a large number of trains in an area. As a result, changes may not be permitted under the industry timetable planning rules or may create a risk to performance.

This means that we need to carefully examine even small changes. We have managed to incorporate a selection of these in the Summer Timetable, such as the additional stops at Royston, and for school children in the Worthing area.

Have you got enough drivers?

Yes. Across our network we have well over 2,000 qualified drivers. We have increased the number of drivers on Thameslink and Great Northern, which has seen the greatest increase in services, by 50% since 2014. Southern has increased 9% since it joined Thameslink and Great Northern in July 2015.

We also have trainee drivers undergoing their training to ensure that drivers are replaced when they leave, and we are looking to recruit more women into the role than ever before. Our driver recruitment campaign is the biggest in the UK.

How long does it take to train a driver?

After a robust selection process, driver training consists of classroom training which lasts six months. This is followed by practical training involving a minimum of 250 hours of one-to-one driving time with an instructor. This typically takes a further six to nine months to become a qualified train driver.

Why don’t you have more trainees?

We are currently undertaking the largest training programme in the industry with more than 200 trainees. We have expanded all resources including the classroom facilities, simulators, trainers and instructors to accommodate this programme. We do not need any more trainees at this point.

Does this mean there will be no cancellations due to a ‘lack of drivers’?

No, while that is our aim we cannot guarantee this. Our resourcing team work very hard, seven days a week, to ensure there is a driver on every train. However, from time to time we have to cancel trains due to the following:

  • An increase in the levels of driver sickness at a depot
  • A number of drivers temporarily unable to drive (e.g. following an incident such as a person hit by a train)
  • During service disruption (e.g. a signalling fault) it is possible that a delayed driver may not arrive on time to take his or her next train
  • A planning error that means we do not have the right driver with the right route or train knowledge to drive the train
  • A lack of volunteers available to work one of their rest days when the rostered driver is unavailable

Why don’t you have spare drivers?

We do. Across our depots we have an appropriate level of qualified drivers. This includes rostering a number of ‘spare’ drivers each day to provide resilience when we have late notice for sickness absence, or during minor disruption.

Why don’t drivers work extra shifts?

Many do. In line with other Train Operating Companies we have a voluntary rest day working agreement where drivers can volunteer for additional duties, which either avoid cancellations or provide additional resilience.

Why do you use ‘Rest day working’?

Despite operating the largest training programme in the country, it is not possible to train enough drivers quickly enough to simultaneously expand our services and eliminate rest day working. The number of drivers on Thameslink and Great Northern has increased by 50% since 2014 to reflect our expanding services. The standard working week for drivers is four days a week meaning that many choose to work some additional shifts.

Do you have many female drivers?

Not enough! But the situation is improving. Out of the last 100 trainee drivers that we have recruited, 20 are women. We are actively promoting an increase in diversity across our business and have a target to make sure 40% of all our driver applications are from women by 2021. You can hear the story of one our female drivers in this Evening Standard article. (We are not responsible for the content on third party websites).

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Find your timetable

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09 - Peterborough and Stevenage to London

09 - Peterborough and Stevenage to London

19 May to 14 December 2019

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09 - Peterborough and Stevenage to London

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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10 - Peterborough and Arlesey to London

10 - Peterborough and Arlesey to London

19 May to 14 December 2019

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10 - Peterborough and Arlesey to London

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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11 - Kings Lynn and Ely to Cambridge and London

11 - King's Lynn and Ely to Cambridge and London

19 May to 14 December 2019

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11 - King's Lynn and Ely to Cambridge and London

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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12 - Cambridge to London

12 - Cambridge to London

19 May to 14 December 2019

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12 - Cambridge to London

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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13 - Cambridge, Royston and Letchworth Garden City to London (stopping and semi fast trains)

13 - Cambridge, Royston and Letchworth Garden City to London (stopping and semi fast trains)

19 May to 14 December 2019

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13 - Cambridge, Royston and Letchworth Garden City to London (stopping and semi fast trains)

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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14 - Hitchin and Stevenage to London

14 - Hitchin and Stevenage to London

19 May to 14 December 2019

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14 - Hitchin and Stevenage to London

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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15 - Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar to London

15 - Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar to London

19 May to 14 December 2019

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15 - Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar to London

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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16 - Hertford North and Bowes Park to London

16 - Hertford North and Bowes Park to London

19 May to 14 December 2019

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16 - Hertford North and Bowes Park to London

9 December 2018 to 18 May 2019

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