Passengers urged to check every journey

It comes with an eight-day period of national industrial action

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates Southern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Great Northern, is warning customers that regrettably there will be no trains on the vast majority of its network on Saturday 30 September and Wednesday 4 October owing to national industrial action by the ASLEF union.

A limited shuttle service will run between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport on both days. These trains will be extremely busy and will not stop at any other stations. Queueing systems will be in place and passengers may not be able to board their chosen service, especially in the late evenings.

Passengers are strongly urged not to travel to or from Gatwick by train if they have an alternative transport option, and to leave plenty of extra time for their journey if using a train is essential. As there are no trains across most of the country on these two days, there will be limited onward travel options from London Victoria, so travellers are urged to plan their whole journey ahead of time.

On each morning following strike action – Sunday 1 October and Thursday 5 October – services will start up later than usual.

Additionally, an overtime ban by ASLEF will mean amended timetables with fewer trains on Friday 29 September, and on Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Thursday 5 and Friday 6 October. These timetables have been designed to help passengers plan for their day, providing greater certainty of train times with fewer short-notice alterations. However, passengers should expect busier trains, especially in peak hours, and longer waiting times.

GTR has contacted schools to ensure they are aware and can help ensure nobody is caught out.

Jenny Saunders, GTR’s Customer Service Director, said: “We know how difficult this ongoing national industrial action is for our customers and we're really sorry for the continued inconvenience it’s causing. So that you can travel with confidence, we’ll be operating the most resilient timetables we can, but when trains are running, they’re likely to be busier than normal, especially in the peaks, and you might need to wait longer than usual. Please plan all your journeys carefully in advance, allowing plenty of extra time, and check again before you set off.”

Train times are now available for Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September in online journey planners such as National Rail Enquiries, and will be available five to seven days in advance for subsequent affected dates [see notes to editors]. Further information is also available on the Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express websites.

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