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Southeastern consults on changes to timetable in December 2014


Southeastern has released its draft proposal for the service specification throughout the London Bridge station rebuild from January 2015.

The London Bridge rebuild is the final stage of the £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme which will also see new brand new track layout and signalling leading to the station. To allow the work to take place, from January 2015, Charing Cross services will not be able to stop at London Bridge until August 2016, and then Cannon Street services won’t stop until early 2018.

To provide a service throughout and beyond this major programme of work, Southeastern has developed a proposed service specification which is now open for public consultation. The final decision on the timetable will be made by the Department for Transport.

The plans include:

  • Improvements to high speed services via Ashford International:
    • 698 additional seats from Ashford International in the morning peak,
    • 349 additional seats from Ebbsfleet International in the morning peak
  • Two additional services from Margate and Broadstairs creating a half hourly service
  • One additional service from Margate and Canterbury West at the start of the off peak
  • An off-peak all day high speed service from Deal, Sandwich, Martin Mill and Walmer as part of a circular service connecting Faversham, Ramsgate and Dover Priory.
  • This gives faster journey times to London, direct services via Faversham and Dover to London and gives Birchington-on-Sea, Herne Bay and Whitstable an all-day high speed service
  • Direct services between Maidstone East and Canterbury West
  • Wider choice of London terminal destinations from East Kent stations by offering a circular high speed service to St Pancras International
  • Additional later services between Dartford and Victoria via Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill
  • Reduction of splitting and joining of mainline services at Ashford and Faversham

The consultation closes on 7 February 2014. The final decision will be made by the Department for Transport.

Southeastern timetable timeline:

Sunday 18 May 2014 – Saturday 20 December 2014
May timetable extended by one week to Saturday 20 December – national timetable change scheduled for Sunday 14 December.
Saturday 20 December 2014
Sevenoaks to Bedford via Blackfriars become part of TSGN franchise (currently jointly operated by Southeastern and First Capital Connect).
Monday 12 January 2015 – August 2016
London Bridge Platforms 4, 5 and 6 closed to allow Thameslink programme work to take place. Southeastern services to Charing Cross will not stop at London Bridge. Southeastern services to and from Cannon Street will continue to call at London Bridge. Some diversions will take place between Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Blackfriars.

Greenwich line and services from St John’s and New Cross to Charing Cross permanently diverted to Cannon Street from this date onwards.

August 2016 – early 2018
Southeastern services to and from Cannon Street will not call at London Bridge station. Southeastern services to and from Charing Cross will resume calling at London Bridge. A separate timetable consultation process will take place for this phase of the programme.
Summary of proposed changes
Services via London Bridge:
  • London Bridge platforms 4, 5 and 6 closed due to Thameslink Programme work. Southeastern services to Charing Cross will not be able stop at London Bridge
  • There will be a two minute increase in journey times for safety reasons as line speeds will be reduced while work is undertaken on adjacent lines
  • As a result of changes to the track layout at Spa Road Junction (just to the east of London Bridge), services from New Cross, St Johns, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park will not be able to go to Charing Cross
  • A number of services will be diverted between London terminals (including Blackfriars) to maximise capacity
  • Cannon Street station open longer hours and for seven days a week

High Speed:

  • An all-day high speed service from Deal, Sandwich, Martin Mill, Walmer, Whitstable, Herne Bay and Birchington-on-Sea as part of a circular service connecting Faversham, Ramsgate and Dover Priory
  • High speed services from Snodland (subject to station improvement work)


  • The existing Southeastern/First Capital Connect (FCC) shared services between Ashford and Blackfriars via Maidstone East will terminate at Blackfriars from Monday 22nd December 2014 - and will be operated by Southeastern
  • Mainline trains will no longer be ‘coupled’ (splitting and joining) at Faversham and Ashford
  • Direct services between Maidstone East and Canterbury West
  • Reduction in off-peak services to Westenhanger and Sandling to one train per hour as per the current Saturday service
  • Longfield and Meopham retain the current off-peak three trains per hour service pattern to and from London
  • Victoria to Gillingham services are extended to Dover Priory


  • Additional half hourly services later in the evening between Victoria and Dartford via Peckham Rye and Bexleyheath.
  • Propose to stop the hourly off-peak Victoria to Dover via Gillingham stopping services at Denmark Hill to enhance connections with London Overground and TSGN routes.


  • Saturday services will reflect the Monday to Friday off-peak service.∙
  • Sunday service pattern still in development – awaiting confirmation of Thameslink Programme engineering access requirements.

The full consultation document is available for download here.

9 January 2014

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