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Press release -

Timetables to change from 17 May – please check before travelling

  • The public urged only to use public transport if there is no alternative
  • Passengers should follow the latest Government advice on how to travel safely
  • To manage social distancing, passengers may have to queue and should allow extra time

Following the latest Government guidance for passengers on how to travel safely, Govia Thameslink Railway will be running a different Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern timetable from Sunday 17 May. The introduction of a new timetable means that services and train times will change and passengers will need to check before they travel at

This timetable will run until further notice and is available in online journey planners now.

The Government advice sets out that if people cannot work from home and have to travel for work, they should first consider alternatives to public transport. For those who have to use public transport, the guidance for passengers on how to travel safely recommends:

  • Keeping 2 metres apart from others wherever possible
  • Wearing a face covering if you can
  • Using contactless payment where possible
  • Avoiding rush hour travel where feasible
  • Washing or sanitising your hands before and after travel
  • Following advice from staff and being considerate to others

To help maintain social distancing some extra services will be running and passengers may be asked to queue to enter some larger, busier stations. We advise that people leave extra time for their journeys. In the coming days, more information will be available as GTR finalises its plans.

Steve White, GTR’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Please listen to the latest Government advice and only travel if you have no other alternative. We ask that customers work with us by respecting the requirements for social distancing and personal hygiene so that we can help everyone who needs to travel or who is working on the railway stay safe and well. I would like to thank our own key worker colleagues who have shown great fortitude in keeping the railway running and supporting our passengers who must travel.”

Network Rail Southern Region Managing Director John Halsall said: “We’re so proud of the role we’ve played with GTR in keeping people in the South East moving through this crisis and this next step is just as much of a challenge for us both.

“Our station teams are working closely on plans to keep passengers and staff safe as we see more people coming back to work and we will be watching passenger numbers carefully to adapt the way we manage trains and stations.”


Notes to editors

  • Information on the specific details of the timetable change from 17 May is available on our websites and passengers can see train times in online journey planners such as
  • The Gatwick Express remains temporarily suspended, although rolling stock may be used to support Southern services.
  • To increase the number of services running on the East Coast mainline, it will be necessary to reintroduce a Monday-Saturday rail replacement bus service between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone. There will be plenty of buses available to ensure social distancing. The Covid-19 outbreak has delayed work on a new platform at Stevenage that would have allowed trains to run between Stevenage and Watton-on-Stone.
  • Services will resume to Moorgate at weekends and late weekday nights following the completion of a major improvement programme by Network Rail and GTR.
  • Southern services will not serve stations north of Watford Junction, please use London Northwestern Railway services
  • Southern services will not operate to/from Guildford, please use South Western Railway services
  • Overnight Thameslink services will operate on some routes



Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

Govia Thameslink Railway
United Kingdom