Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway are asking passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel over the weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January as engineers are set to carry out upgrades to improve the reliability of the railway between London, Gatwick Airport, and the south coast.
Over the weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January, Network Rail engineers will be renewing 1,500m of track, as well as sleepers, ballast (the stones that support the track) and refurbishing three sets of points (the mechanism used to switch trains between tracks) on the Brighton Main Line between Gatwick Airport and Purley, providing smoother and more reliable journeys for the 17 million passengers who travel on the Brighton Main Line every year.
The work will mean a long diversion for trains between London and Gatwick Airport, and a limited service between the Sussex coast and Three Bridges. Journeys will take considerably longer than normal, so anyone planning to use the train to catch a flight from Gatwick should allow plenty of additional time.
There will be no through trains on the main line between London and Gatwick.
People travelling between London and Gatwick are advised to use a special diverted service of two trains per hour between London Victoria and the airport via Horsham. The journey will take around 80 minutes. Alternatively, passengers can travel by train from London Bridge to East Grinstead and use a special replacement bus service running to and from Gatwick Airport.
Only two trains per hour will run between Three Bridges and Brighton, and services towards London from Littlehampton and Eastbourne will terminate at Three Bridges.
Passengers are advised to travel via Three Bridges and use either the replacement bus service to East Grinstead, to connect with trains to London, or the diverted London train via Horsham.
For those who have to travel to or from intermediate stations between Gatwick and East Croydon, very limited replacement bus services will operate.