Gatwick Airport railway station
Southbound view from Platform 2 in September 1995
|Location||London Gatwick Airport|
|Local authority||Borough of Crawley|
|Managed by||Gatwick Express|
|Number of platforms||7 (3 island, 1 side)|
|National Rail annual entry and exit|
|Original company||London, Brighton & South Coast Railway|
|1891||Opened as Gatwick|
|1946||Renamed Gatwick Racecourse|
|27 May 1958||Rebuilt and renamed Gatwick Airport|
| London transport portal|
UK Railways portal
Gatwick Airport railway station is on the Brighton main line in West Sussex, England. It serves London Gatwick Airport, 26 miles 47 chains (42.8 km) down the line from London Bridge via Redhill. The platforms are about 70 metres (230 ft) to the east of the airport's South Terminal, with the ticket office above the platforms and station entrances and exits directly connected to the terminal. The station is also connected to the airport's North Terminal by the Airport Shuttle people-mover. In terms of passenger entries and exits between April 2010 and March 2011, Gatwick Airport was the tenth-busiest station outside London, and the busiest airport station anywhere in the UK. There have been two stations at Gatwick sited approximately 0.85 miles (1.37 km) from each other.
The first railway station, Gatwick, opened during September 1891. In 1946, it was renamed Gatwick Racecourse, to reflect its association with the neighbouring Gatwick Racecourse, but fell out of use for a decade after the opening of Tinsley Green, which was renamed Gatwick Airport in September 1935. The stations had a reversal of fortunes in the 1950s as a result of a government decision to expand and develop the Beehive airport terminal into London's second airport. Gatwick Racecourse was rebuilt to serve the Gatwick Airport and is integrated into its terminal. On 27 May 1958, the rebuilt station, which took over the name Gatwick Airport, was opened in conjunction with a regular train service and services to Tinsley Green were discontinued.
Train services are provided by Gatwick Express, Southern, Thameslink and Great Western. When viewed from the air (or in satellite imagery), the station's British Rail logo etched on the roof is visible. Between late 2010 and early 2014, new facilities were built at the station, among them platform 7, infrastructure renewals and the concourse was refurbished. The station was one of 18 managed by Network Rail, but, in 2012, management was transferred to Southern. In May 2018, station was named as the second-least popular major station in the UK.
Gatwick/Gatwick Racecourse Station
In September 1891, Gatwick station was constructed on the present site to serve Gatwick Racecourse and operated only on race days. The facilities included passing loops and sidings, which enabled race trains to be held without impeding regular traffic on the Brighton Main Line. During the First World War, the sidings were extended to accommodate munitions trains heading for Newhaven.
In 1946, Gatwick station was renamed Gatwick Racecourse which was used until to 1958. The station had fallen out of use after the opening of nearby Tinsley Green/Gatwick Airport Station. In the early 1950s, the airport was expanded over land formerly occupied by the racecourse and it was decided to rebuild it. The station was integrated into the airport terminal via an upper level concourse designed by British Rail Southern Region. On 27 May 1958, the rebuilt station, Gatwick Airport, opened with a regular train service.
Tinsley Green/Gatwick Airport Station
On 30 September 1935 Tinsley Green was opened 0.85 miles (1.37 km) south of the present station. With a year it was renamed Gatwick Airport, following the completion of the Beehive airport terminal, which had a direct connection to the station. In 1940, the airport was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force (RAF) for military use. In 1952, the government decided to expand the airport as London's second airport. The station continued in operation until 27 May 1958when the new Gatwick Airport station (above) opened. The old station was demolished. The only visible remains of the old station are sections of the former up slow line platform and sections of the subway between the station and the original terminal building
The 1958 facilities included a parcels office beneath the main concourse, lifts and a corridor on the south side of the overbridge, separated from the passenger corridor by a glazed partition. To accommodate trains of up to 12-carriage lengths, the three old Racecourse island platforms were raised by 1 ft (0.30 m) and extended to the north by about 100 ft (30 m), except for the very long westernmost platform, which was reduced from the south. The ticket office on the main concourse of the station was able to handle 670 separate issues of Edmondson tickets from its Bellmatic equipment. The signalbox was retained on the centre platform. In the 1980s, the station was refurbished. The station had six platforms immediately beneath the airport's South Terminal.
The ticket office is manned for tickets and inquires, supplemented by ticket machines capable of handling online bookings usually available on a round-the-clock basis. Automated teller machines, payphones and email access points are installed on the main concourse. To assist with moving luggage, coin-operated trolleys are available as is a left luggage facility. On-site food and drink outlets are present. Toilets are available but baby changing facilities and additional toilets can be found in the adjacent South Terminal. There is no car parking facility. Transport for London's (TfL) Oyster cards and contactless cards are accepted for travel at the tation.
On 13 October 2010, a £53 million redevelopment programme was announced to provide another platform capable of accommodating 12-car trains, refurbishment of the concourse, and track and signal upgrades. Escalators and elevators were provided for platforms 5 and 6, replacing a staircase to achieve improved circulation. The programme resulted in improved capacity and flexibility on the Brighton Main Line. The project was jointly financed by Network Rail, who contributed £44.9 million, and Gatwick Airport who provided £7.9 million. Construction was structured to not negatively affect the 2012 Summer Paralympics, which was hosted in London.
By 3 February 2014, completion was marked by a ceremony officiated by Minister of State for Transport Baroness Kramer, who formally opened the new platform. Constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick, platform 7 is served by a 975-metre (3,199 ft) loop from the down fast line and used by services which formerly called at platform 5. VolkerFitzpatrick were responsible for track and signalling modifications. This has allowed platforms 5 and 6 to be dedicated to Gatwick Express services, thereby eliminating conflicts with slower services when formerly they crossed to platforms 1 and 2. The project was finished on schedule and budget, despite extreme weather conditions during the winter of 2013/2014.
In 2014, Baroness Kramer announced that the government had committed £50 million towards further improvements. A scheme for further improvements estimated to cost around £120 million, was announced by Network Rail. In April 2018, Network Rail submitted a planning application for modernising the station; doubling the size of the concourse, widening two platforms, and improving connections to the airport terminal. It was done in partnership with Gatwick Airport authorities, the Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership and the Department for Transport. The expansion is an element of a five-year programme, costed at £1.11 billion, announced by Gatwick Airport in early 2018.
Gatwick station is served by:
- Gatwick Express services to London Victoria and Brighton
- Southern services from London Victoria and London Bridge to Ore, Eastbourne, Brighton, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Portsmouth and Southampton
- Thameslink services from Bedford or London Bridge to Three Bridges, where trains terminate or continue on to either Brighton or Horsham
- Great Western Railway services to Reading.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Arun Valley Line
Brighton Main Line
|Three Bridges or |
|Redhill||Great Western Railway
North Downs Line
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Media related to Gatwick Airport railway station at Wikimedia Commons