Finsbury park to London bridge and Gatwick direct from monday



  • ...I think that means ultimately 7tph, unless that Cambridge-Brighton service is actually bumped up from 1tph to 2ph (not confirmed in the document) in which case it'll be 8.
  • There seem to be plenty of direct trains to Gatwick takes about an hour but is a bit expensive than going via Victoria. Do I risk it a trip to Gatwick on Saturday?
  • The trains have been a shambles today. Trains marked as delayed and not showing up, wrongly advertised trains on platforms, and diversions.
  • The Mrs's train was meant to run through, but it was changed to terminate at kings X. But it took 50 mins! It even reversed at one point.

    And most of the trains this evening were cancelled.
  • I was on that train! They reversed us into a tunnel to make way for other trains to vacate a platform at KX. I’ll be taking the tube until things settle. Pity, as I love getting the train to KX and back every day but his new timetable will take a while to embed I think.
  • TfL. Rail trains have started to Heathrow initially from Paddington it will eventually be part of the Elizabeth Line. Here is the tube map with it on it.
  • We might get trains to Gatwick but a lot of other people have been shafted by this bad timetabling.

    My brother who comes in from Welwyn Garden City said he's down from four fast trains an hour to two, my sister who comes in from Harpenden says they are now running fast trains within six minutes of each other then big gap (and there are less of them).

    Bravo the British railways, even when they try to improve the service they stuff it up!

    Still at least the shareholders get paid.
  • I think then transition - both in terms of the transitional timetable and the operational implementation - have some big question marks against them. In the final version of the timetable (Dec 2019) there will be vastly more capacity for most people though, and I'd guess that such a truly huge general improvement in routes and train numbers is impossible to achieve without a minority losing out.
  • I admire your optimism Arkady,

    I'm not entirely certain that on past behaviour I trust the train companies' claims that there will be such a general improvement.

    That's a long time to wait if you pay £4,000 a year for a season ticket and someone has decided the fast trains you rely on should run within six minutes of each other - before a 25 minute gap.

    I'm also interested in this claim as to the benefits from Thameslink

    '20 trains per hour will be put into services, and trains will run every 2-3 minutes through central London'

    If there is one place you don;t need trains every two to three minutes it is through central London - there is a tube network there.

    You need more of them coming at regular intervals into London - and all of the timetable complains I am hearing say the opposite has just happened.

  • I'm ever the optimist, but there clearly will be more trains for most people in most places, and an increased range of services too. The increased capacity is partly BECAUSE the trains are now running through instead of terminating at a central station. One of the biggest limiting factors in train capacity is the turnaround time and platform capacity at terminal stations, and that's now been remedied. We'll feel the difference once things have settled down, and certainly after the transition.

    Also, even if you just regard it as an extra tube service then... well who doesn't want a new tube from Finsbury Park to London Bridge via those central stations?
  • Mrs J needed to get to Gatwick this morning. She had to go to St Pancras and change due to cancelations.
  • I see your point Arkady, but you live in Stroud Green which is blessed with Finsbury Park's two tubes and train line service.

    If you were commuting from half an hour by train outside London, and paying £4,000 a year for it, I doubt that after this week's carnage and the crazy changes to a lot of people's timetables you would be quite so cheerful.

    The tube is so good because you can rely on it running at regular intervals.

    Surely, that's how the trains into London need to be - done with regular ten to 15 minute gaps between each fast train with slow ones in the middle - not bunched together with big gaps, which is what has increasingly happened with over the years and been exacerbated by the new timetables.

    I hope you are right and it turns out to be great, but the muppets repeatedly running rail franchises haven't shown any previous aptitude for achieving that.
  • The reason for bunching of the trains could be that several of the stations are shared by the private rail companies and therefore due to having to share the platforms and space are bunched accordingly. Or it could be due to restrictions, such as up until a couple of years back in Bournemouth trains running to Weymouth were restricted to 4 or 5 carriages rather than the 8,9 or 10 which departed from London and only two trains per hour due to underinvestment by the government, the line couldn't cope with the extra demand of power from the third rail. Again a similar thing with Kings Cross at the gasworks tunnel, the narrowing down of the lines in to the station itself causes a bottleneck, so perhaps it is easier for the majority of the traffic to passin the same direction. Just a thought.
  • More on this when I'm back from Brussels. In the meantime the current catastrophe, and lovely charts showing the transition of services, are explained here in a brilliant article from my old stablemates at London Reconnections:
  • I assume you are getting the train to Brussels? Having had the misfortune to drive in Belgium on numerous occasions i can confirm it is probably the only way you will get there without having a seizure.
  • Indeed.. Eurostarring it. Actually in Bruges at the moment doing my best Colin Farrell impression. The double-decker trains twixt Brussels and Bruges are superb. I've eaten my bodyweight in croquettes.
  • edited May 2018
    I'm sure an Orval beer would go down well.

    Ghent is superb as well and a doddle from Brussels.
  • Actually you should check out The Cantillon Brewery, it's great.
  • It is a little-mentioned fact—conversations these days being as they are—that Vincent Youmans, the American composer of hit songs such as “Tea for Two”, had the middle name Millie.
  • edited June 2018
  • Pretty much the same as now, but an increased service eventually.
  • edited June 2018
  • One of my sisters gets Thameslink in and out of Harpenden, while my other sister gets our line up to Oakleigh Park - still chaos on a daily basis in terms of cancellations, exacerbating the bunched timetabling.

    They promise it will get better after this transition but won't say what better actually is.

    They should strip Govia of the franchise.

    In fact, they should never have given it to them, as a previous incarnation was barred from reapplying for Thameslink when it came up and First Crapital Connect took over.

    Just illustrates how messed up our railways are. We should give all the commuter lines to TFL rather than these corporate clowns.
  • It's a total shambles.

    "They promise it will get better after this transition but won't say what better actually is."

    She can look on the website for that though, presumably?
  • I've not had the guts to try and use it to commute to/from Blackfriars yet. Anyone else given it a go?
  • I wanted to go to Sutton On Saturday and I was hoping I would of been of been able to get the new train to Blackfriars or Farringdon to change to a Sutton service via Mitcham Junction. None of the trains were running. I treated myself on a ride on the new class 707 on South West trains from Vauxhall to Wimbledon. They are a lovely red and yellow.

    The Thameslink programme was started in 2000. They have 18 years to plan for this change. Its an absoloute disaster. One of the previous Stroud Green residents used to work for them. I would love to know how they modeled/simulated the train services. I know it is complex as the Thameslink have to share tracks, signals and points with other lines (East Midland, Southern, South Eastern, Great Northern) but something has clearly gone wrong with their modelling and timetabling. Like TSB they have to hold their hands up and say they have got it wrong and start again.
  • The problem is complex:

    But it's primarily due to insufficient driver training by the train operating company:

    There just aren't enough drivers trained to take the trans through the core, especially the canal tunnels. If there were the timetable would work.
  • edited June 2018
    TSB have different problems as they are trying to bolt new systems onto old, some of them systems and languages were Mainframe. They are tossers for lying about it though, and it still is not working correctly.

    Train operators may well suffer the same problems with signalling equipment but not being able to keep to a new timetable is beyond ridiculous, as is the goblin line being too high etc.

    I have a theory that they can make more money by not running things.

    Whether that is from insurance claims, not paying for diesel, power etc. or god knows what else i do not know but i cannot see why else they would not run trains with more and more excuses.
  • @Arkady 'She can look on the website for that though, presumably?'

    As far as I am aware they have not published this magical better promised timetable from December 2018.

    If you find it let me know, I think the people paying £4,000 a year plus for their shambolic train to work might want to locate it - even if just to check if the useless shower running our railways are telling the truth for once.

    This is the website:

    Nothing there that I can see.

    You previously claimed that now running through trains running via a known bottleneck could improve services because turning them around causes delays. Are you aware the new timetable means stopping more trains at St Albans and turning them back round? They previously used to continue on and service the stops from there to Bedford, so these things would seem contradictory.

    As for train drivers who can't drive trains properly. Heaven help us.
  • edited June 2018

    This station-by-station guide outlines how the service will change over the course of the transition. I excerpted the bit about Finsbury Park station above. I think I've seen the full December 2019 timetable somewhere.

    Amazingly, Harpenden is the one station for which there are no details! Your sister's fury and suspicion seems to be well-founded.

    I don't know the specifics of the St Albans situation, but the point holds - central London termini are at maximum capacity in the peak, and the key bottleneck in increasing the number of services. By funnelling some services away from the termini and through the core (which isn't anywhere near capacity, and won't be even in December 2019, so it's not a inherently a bottleneck) you open up platform capacity at the core stations. That's just physics.* But if you try to do that without having enough drivers cleared for the new route then you're fucked - which is where we are. Whether the final December 2019 timetable will work without a slight delay having a crippling knock-on effect elsewhere is yet to be tested.

    I doubt St Albans' terminating platforms were at full capacity, and indeed that's demonstrably true if they've increased the number of trains stopping there, so that's a different situation.

    *And why they just spent billions converting so many terminating platforms at London Bridge into through-platforms
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