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The Gatwick Express train service returns

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You may not have even realised it was gone, but the Gatwick Express train service is returning from 3rd April.

There will not be a return to the pre-pandemic service, however. Whilst construction work continues at Gatwick Airport to rebuild the railway station, services will be restricted to two trains per hour.

As was the case for a period pre-covid, the service is not a dedicated shuttle between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport. Trains will actually run to and from Brighton (except on Sundays) so it is more accurate to call it the Brighton Express with one stop at Gatwick Airport in both directions. This is not ideal for flyers, because there is never a train waiting on the platform at all times, and heading into London the train can often get busy before it arrives at the airport.

(Peak-time weekday services will also call at Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Hassocks and Preston Park.)

The price premium over the local services between Victoria and Gatwick will remain, despite the time difference being as little as three minutes. Thameslink is also now fully operational after many years of rebuilding work, allowing fast journeys into London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon and Kings Cross.

The only advantage of Gatwick Express, in my view, is for passengers arriving at London Victoria by taxi. There are escalators from the station car park which are exclusively for the use of Gatwick Express passengers, and you can get from taxi to platform in under a minute.

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