Disruption update on Govia Thameslink Railway

Published: 26 February 2024


Good afternoon,

As you may be aware, there has been significant disruption on a number of Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services this morning and so we wanted to get in touch to provide you with an update, and to apologise for what has undoubtedly been a very difficult morning for many people trying to travel.

What has happened?

There have been a number of issues that have affected train services, particularly across the Sussex area this morning with a knock-on impact on the wider GTR network including north of London.

At around 3:00am there was a loss of power across some of the UK Power Networks which significantly impacted the Three Bridges Signalling Centre which controls the signalling systems across the majority of routes in the Sussex area.

Power returned relatively quickly, but some of the signalling systems required manual resets. This had caused most of the signalling system to fail and meant we could not run any trains.

Signalling began to be restored at 6:30am. At that point we were able to begin bringing trains into operation, but by then the impact on the day’s timetable was significant, meaning a very large impact to services on many routes through the morning peak, with a very reduced service at many stations and some places not being able to be served at all.

While much of the equipment was restored once signalling power was regained, there are still problems with various sets of points across the region, in particular at Haywards Heath and in the Preston Park-Hove areas, meaning only a limited number of lines available to run trains through this section.

This reduction in track capacity means we are having to cancel a large number of trains. As a result, there are very few trains calling at Preston Park, Hassocks, Burgess Hill, Wivelsfield and Balcombe, and there are knock on delays across the entire network.

What is the latest travel advice?

All routes across the Sussex area continue to be severely disrupted. We are therefore advising all customers to check carefully before they travel and are recommending customers delay travel until later today, where possible.

If customers choose to travel this morning it is likely that they will need to use an alternative train, change trains more often or use another route. As a result, journeys will take up to an hour longer than usual.

Where trains do operate, they will be very busy and local buses will have more passengers than usual. The latest situation on services is outlined below.

On Southern:

There is severe disruption to all Southern services in the Sussex area with short notice cancellations and alterations.

There is no service on the Littlehampton to London Victoria route at present and only a very limited service able to run between Brighton and Portsmouth/Southampton Central.

Customers along the West Coastway route may use Stagecoach bus route 700 between Littlehampton and Brighton or Brighton & Hove Buses between Shoreham-by-Sea, Hove, Preston Park / Brighton.

On Thameslink:

Brighton to Cambridge direct services are suspended. For journeys to and from stations between Cambridge and London, customers should use Great Northern services instead.

Trains are running on the Brighton to Bedford route but may be affected by cancellations and short-notice disruption. Customers should take the first train available heading in the direction of travel and change where necessary.

On Gatwick Express:

All Gatwick Express services are suspended between Brighton and Gatwick Airport. Limited services are however now able to operate between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria.

Customers may use their tickets on Thameslink and Southern services via alternative routes, for example circulating via Lewes. Metrobus are also accepting tickets on buses between Brighton and Crawley, and tickets may also be used on London Underground services to transfer across London on any reasonable route.

Our websites are being kept up to date with the latest information as the position evolves:
• Southern
• Thameslink
Updates are also available via our X / Twitter accounts.

We’re advising any customer who has been caught up in the disruption to claim using Delay Repay.

We’re very sorry for the disruption these two issues have caused to many people’s journeys this morning.

If you require further help or information please let us know.

Best wishes,
Ben Thomas Project Consultation Manager
Govia Thameslink Railway