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viscount630
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Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:30 pm

Some common sense at last!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/6524763.stm

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OA260
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:25 pm

God I didnt know they were talking about closing it. That would have been a disaster!!!!
 
BCAL
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:31 pm

That is good news for LGW, the airlines that use the airport, and the passengers who use the Gatwick Express to get to/from the airport. It is also good news for commuters on the busy London-Brighton line, as nothing could be worse than commuters and air passengers being mixed on the same crowded trains at peak hours.

It will be interesting to see if Govia, when they take over the franchise, will make any changes such as fully absorbing the Gatwick Express into the Southern franchise.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
richardw
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:32 pm

Wasn't it just threatened with stops instead of being non-stop, not closure?
 
BCAL
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:42 pm

Quoting Richardw (Reply 3):

Yes and No. Because the Brighton-London line cannot accommodate any additional services at peak hours, some commuter trains are running with 120% capacity whereas the Gatwick Express trains rarely run at 60% capacity. The powers-that-be decided that better use of the unused capacity of the Gatwick Express trains was desirable and they were suggesting that this service should be available to all rail passengers, not just those travelling to/from the airport, and the trains should extend beyond Gatwick so effectively they would become a normal train service rather than a dedicated airport link.

[Edited 2007-04-05 10:51:54]
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
B747-4U3
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:02 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 2):
It is also good news for commuters on the busy London-Brighton line, as nothing could be worse than commuters and air passengers being mixed on the same crowded trains at peak hours.

I'm sorry, but I fail to see how it is better for commuters? At peak times, regular trains are hideously crowded whilst the Gatwick Express train is rarely full. Indeed, the Gatwick Express train has a more luxurious layout, and therefore holds less passengers anyway, so the fact that this lower capacity train rarely runs even close to full represents a complete waste of capacity. The Gatwick Express train should run Gatwick-East Croydon-Vicotira. That way, at peak times air travellers using the sevice will be on at the first station and off at the last, so they can take all of the seats and have plenty of time to store their baggage. The stop at East Croydon would help overcrowding on the East-Croydon-Victoria section.
 
hotelmode
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:43 pm

As an airline employee I should support this but I think its a disaster. The option they chose is the least popular of all responses received. 6 extra trains to Brighton in the peak will make no difference given current growth south of Gatwick and we'll be revisiting this in a couple of years. Very few airports have a dedicated non stop service to their City with a train always waiting in the platform but many have much higher levels of rail use than Gatwick. Schipol springs to mind.. The stops at E croyden and Clapham add 4 mins to a 30 min journey and give excellent connections to other more useful parts of London than Victoria. This is just a way to avoid spending the cash on a new platform at Gatwick and redesigning the junction at E Croyden to increase capacity so the dedicated trains could continue whilst adding the desperately needed capacity on the Brighton and Horsham lines.
 
BCAL
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:34 pm

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 5):
I'm sorry, but I fail to see how it is better for commuters?

Perhaps I had better rephrase that and say it is better for commuters travelling from stations further south than Gatwick Airport. Of course commuters travelling from places like East Croydon would want to be able to board the Gatwick Express with its spare seating capacity.

So how is it better for commuters travelling from stations further south than Gatwick Airport?

Well picture yourself in the shoes of a regular commuter who boards a train at (say) Haywards Heath or any station south of there. Generally, overcrowding does not start until the train reaches Three Bridges or East Croydon so the commuter can normally find a seat, read his newspaper, catch up with work on his laptop, pick his nose, or fall asleep.

The trains then pulls into Gatwick Airport and then more passengers board, many of who are carrying suitcases. The peace is disturbed as those boarding the train look for seats or places to put their large suitcases. Being a British commuter train, the only places where large suitcases can be stored are on empty seats or in the passageway. Suitcases in the passageway become an obstruction for passengers and for the trolley buffet (if there is a trolley buffet service and this service would then have to be curtailed, as the trolley could no longer move up/down the train).

On top of this, if the air passengers are tourists they are normally in a good frame of mind, talkative and excited as they start their journey in England so they disturb the peace and quiet that commuters had been enjoying prior to arriving at Gatwick Airport. Excited tourists usually talk at a voice that can be heard on the other side of the country without the need for amplification or air waves, so you can imagine how irritating this would be to a commuter who is sleeping (and many commuters not only have to work a minimum 7-hour day but spend another 3 to 5 hours on top of that travelling), or trying to concentrate on his book/laptop.

If you think I am being selfish, I would invite you to experience regular commuting where it is generally considered inappropriate behaviour to talk on the trains, particularly the morning trains. I did not make up this rule (and I have even been told off many times by fellow commuters for playing my ipod too loud through my headphones!)

Regular commuters on my trains think it is far better that the tourists and foreigners arriving at Gatwick have their own dedicated trains with luggage space and on which they can shout at one another in their own languages to their hearts' content.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
A340600
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:00 pm

Hmm, wont this solution mean that the train could almost fill up before it even reaches Gatwick, leaving the travellers standing, which would be rediculous! I travel on this line everyday and it is quite common to not get a seat there or back, so anything that would ease crowding would be good I just fear this will completely ruin the Gatwick Express customer's experience in the peak hours.
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
N1120A
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:58 am

Quoting B747-4U3 (Reply 5):
The Gatwick Express train should run Gatwick-East Croydon-Vicotira. That way, at peak times air travellers using the sevice will be on at the first station and off at the last

East Croydon and Clapham Junction really weren't the concerns with this plan, given that they recieve countless trains into Central London anyway. The concerns had more to do with South of Gatwick customers.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
BCAL
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:11 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
East Croydon and Clapham Junction really weren't the concerns with this plan, given that they recieve countless trains into Central London anyway

I do not agree. Even though East Croydon and Clapham Junction have countless of train services to London Victoria etc at peak hours most trains are carrying 110% capacity, if not more. Trains towards London start filling up after Gatwick, so this is where the overcrowding problem is. The rail operating companies would like to add more services but given the constraints of the UK railways (designed for Victorian Days but coping with the travel needs of the 21st Century due to massive under-investment by successive governments) this is not possible.

If you take the 40% under-capacity off the Gatwick Express and add this to the 10% over-capacity on commuter trains, the powers-that-be believe that they have solved the problems and killed two birds with one stone! So much for a transport plan.

There is already a reasonable service in place from Gatwick to the Sussex Coast, but a dedicated service would not go amiss.

Besides, Gatwick is London's second airport and I would think it is essential for any airport supposedly serving a city to have a dedicated, fast, non-stop rail link with that city for the airport to be successful. What sort of impression would foreigners arriving at LGW have of England if they were forced to travel with commuters? Commuters in the UK are probably the grumpiest, weirdest and most anti-social in the world! If Gatwick passengers want to get off at East Croydon or Clapham Junction for other train services, last time I looked Southern (for both East Croydon and Clapham Junstion) has about 8 trains per hour leaving Gatwick and Thameslink (for East Croydon) also has 4 trains an hour and I think there is the odd Virgin train as well, so there is ample choice (and all cheaper than the Gatwick Express).
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
trintocan
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:01 am

Oh yes, Gatwick Express. For the last 3 or 4 years the future of this franchise has been debated - it is good to hear that it will be retained.

LGW is a major airport on the world scene and is London's (and the UK's for that matter) second busiest. In many ways it is actually more convenient by train for Central London (ie the City) than is even LHR. It only makes sense to have a non-stop service to the big city. Certainly peak-hour services may need to be semi-fast services (yes, East Croydon is a major stop) and continue to Brighton but the needs for commuters and travellers are quite different.

As was mentioned earlier, ultimately greater line capacity is needed and this remains a sore point in the UK, nobody seems to want to pay for better rail infrastructure. This results in overcrowding and ultimately people are forced into their cars, clogging up the motorway network (M25 and M23 in this case).

By way of comparison, one should note that the Gatwick Express forms part of the National Rail network and as such is under the direct jurisdiction of the Strategic Rail Authority (who sets fares, service frequencies and the like) whereas Heathrow Express is not part of National Rail (it is owned by British Airports Authority), which is partly why the LHR service attracts relatively little adverse attention and is also excluded from Travelcards, Railcards and the like.

TrinToCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
MAS777
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 1:55 pm

yay!!!

one happy Hovian here!
 
mandala499
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:35 pm

Quote:
The Gatwick Express train should run Gatwick-East Croydon-Vicotira.

Vicotira? Which Mediterranean resort is that? *puzzled*... J/K

Quote:
The stops at E croyden and Clapham add 4 mins to a 30 min journey and give excellent connections to other more useful parts of London than Victoria.



Quote:
Certainly peak-hour services may need to be semi-fast services (yes, East Croydon is a major stop) and continue to Brighton but the needs for commuters and travellers are quite different.

Cut that Gatwick Express, and have a PROPER Brighton - Victoria semi-express service... Brighton-H'Heath-LGW-E Croydon-Clapham J-Vic... It'll provide excellent connectivity to LGW users throughout southern England.

A former LGW fanatic who used LGW station to take the bus to LHR...

Mandala499
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B747-437B
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:34 pm

Quoting Trintocan (Reply 11):
it is owned by British Airports Authority

The British Airports Authority was disbanded in 1986 when it was privatised. The current entity "BAA" is simply a name.
 
highpeaklad
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RE: Gatwick Express Train Service Reprieve!

Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:39 pm

The Brighton trains will be operated by 2 x class 442 units giving 10 carriages in each train so they will have greater capacity.
Don't try to keep up with the Joneses - bring them down to your level !

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