A RAIL service has announced that it is to return after almost two years and plummeting passenger numbers.

The Gatwick Express will return on Monday, December 13 after it was suspended on March 30, 2020, as the pandemic began to take hold and passenger numbers tumbled.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs the service, said its return will help to support the recovery of Gatwick Airport and the southeast.

The Argus: The Gatwick Express will returned on December 13The Gatwick Express will returned on December 13

All Gatwick Express trains will run non-stop between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport, then will run through to Brighton on Monday to Saturday.

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

On Sundays, trains will run between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria only.

The service will will be suspended from December 26 to January 3 due to planned engineering work.

GTR has also announced that train times for Southern and Thameslink services will change from Sunday, December 12 as it introduces an updated winter timetable.

The timetable introduction will be phased, with the last stage introduced after the holiday period on Tuesday 4 January 2022.

Until 4 January there will be improvements and changes on some routes and temporary reductions on others.

The company has advised passengers to check before travelling during this period.

Angie Doll, GTR interim chief operating officer said the changes will support significant engineering works over the Christmas and New Year period.

She said: “We’re changing our train times in phases from 12 December to support engineering work and ensure services are as reliable as possible given the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

“We do strongly urge our customers, including those travelling to see friends and family over the festive period, to check before leaving home using live travel updates on our websites and at National Rail Enquiries where they can also sign-up for alerts.

“We’re pleased to reinstate our seven-day-a-week non-stop Gatwick Express service.

“Gatwick Airport plays a vital part in driving economic growth in the south-east and we’re proud to support its recovery.”

The Christmas and New Year timetables from 25 December to 3 January are already available to view in online journey planners such as www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Services across Sussex that will be affected by engineering works from Saturday, December 11:

Saturday, December 11 – Sunday, December 12

• Changes to services between Brighton/London and Hastings and Ore including rail replacement buses.

• Start of Winter Timetable

Monday 13 December – Friday 17 December 2021

• Revised weekday timetable in operation

Saturday, December 18– Sunday, December 19 2021

• Reduced services including rail replacement buses between Three Bridges and Lewes and Polegate / Seaford

• Reduced Thameslink services between Bedford and Brighton

Monday December, 20 – Thursday, December 23 2021

• Revised weekday timetable in operation

Christmas Eve – Friday, December 24

• Revised weekday timetable in operation

• Trains will finish running earlier than normal on all routes with last trains departing central London from around 20:00

Christmas Day – Saturday, December 25

• No service

Boxing Day – Sunday, December 26

• A limited service will run on Southern, with trains between London Bridge and Three Bridges, between London Bridge and Brighton, between London Bridge and Sutton via Selhurst and West Croydon and between London Bridge to East Croydon via Crystal Palace

• No trains will run on Gatwick Express, Great Northern or Thameslink

Monday, December 27 until Monday, January 3, 2022

• A revised service will run on all routes

• From Monday 27 December until 3 January, due to re-signalling works at London Victoria, most trains will be diverted to run to and from London Bridge. Gatwick Express trains will not run

Tuesday 4 January 2022

• Last phase of Winter 2021/2022 weekday timetable introduced

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