Last year the Gatwick Airport Express, the dedicated rail service serving the airport, was under threat of closure in order to provide more capacity for commuter services between London and Brighton, one of the busiest services in the country.
Thanks to a campaign waged by airlines, staff and members of the public, the threat was lifted and at 3.30am on Sun 22nd June, Southern ran its first train out of London Victoria to Gatwick.
According to Southern’s MD, Chris Burchell, passengers will see little change with the high standards of service being maintained.
There are, however, improvements such as new ticket machines at both Victoria and Gatwick, making it easier for travellers to purchase their train tickets.
From December, the service will be extended to Brighton each morning and evening, providing an extra 2000 seats on the hard pressed commuter line. Old coaches have been taken out of storage and reconditioned to provide the extra capacity.
The service takes just 30 minutes from London to Gatwick (35 minutes on a Sunday) and costs £16.90 for a single ticket or £28.80 return.
It is not a 24 hour service, however, with the first train from London leaving at 03.30 and the last at 00.30. From Gatwick, the first service runs at 04.30 and the last at 01.35.
For much of the day, trains run every 15 mins but for exact times see here.
There is ample space for luggage and if you have bulky items such as skis, bikes or surf boards they can be put in the luggage van. In addition, a free porter service at both Victoria and Gatwick is offered.