Improved rail links are critical to the successful future of Gatwick Airport.

With more than 10 million people travelling to and from Gatwick by rail every year, Gatwick has a higher proportion of rail travellers than any major UK airport, and demand is growing. It actually takes less time to get to the City of London from Gatwick than Heathrow or Stansted.

Gatwick road and rail access will start transforming over the coming years through schemes such as Thameslink and our passengers will start to see the benefits very quickly. The transformation of Gatwick will provide people with higher quality services, to and from more places, allowing them to travel with greater ease.

Gatwick is well connected to the North, South, East and West and has a huge reach. 3.2 million people live within 30 minutes of the airport and all of London’s population and almost 15 million of the UK population lives within around 60 minutes.

Our future plans

Gatwick already offers direct rail services to 129 stations. By 2035, Gatwick’s rail capacity will be nearly tripled, with the frequency of trains almost doubled. The reach of rail services will be extended to serve 175 stations directly, including Oxford, Cambridge and Peterborough and more than 1,000 stations with just one change.

The raft of transport improvements planned include:

  • A train to central London every 2.5 minutes by 2019
  • New Gatwick Express trains in service by 2016
  • Quicker journey times to the West End and City, than from Heathrow
  • 15 million people brought within 60 minutes of Gatwick – more than any UK airport
  • 1000 rail stations within one change, including links to all UK main rail lines, Crossrail and HS2
  • Planned upgrades to M25 and M23, including smart motorway system

Put into context, a doubling of rail capacity by 2020 means 10,000 additional seats to the capital every hour, transforming rail services for both air passengers and local commuters. Other planned infrastructure improvements – such as Brighton Mainline re-signalling and junction replacements – will nearly treble capacity by 2035. 

Gatwick will connect to Crossrail at Farringdon - and the planned Crossrail2 at Clapham Junction - and HS2 services via Old Oak Common. The improved train networks mean that Gatwick is within one change of all the main UK inter-city rail lines, including:

  • Great Western (Bristol, Wales and the South West)
  • West Coast Mainline (Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow)
  • Midland Mainline (Sheffield, Nottingham, and Derby)
  • East Coast Mainline (Leeds, Newcastle, and Edinburgh)

Balancing the needs of air passengers and rail commuters is also key. The number of people travelling between Gatwick and London by rail could increase by 30% in eight years. In addition, the number of non-air passengers travelling on the same services could grow by 29%. Gatwick will increase the cost efficiency in the rail industry by filling off-peak trains as well as providing passengers for trains operating in the opposite direction to peak commuter services.