Network Rail’s proposal to connect Reigate with Thameslink has received strong support from passengers and local residents following a series of drop-in information sessions earlier this year.

The proposal includes plans to widen and extend platform 2, creating a third platform to accommodate longer 12-carriage trains terminating at Reigate and turning back towards London. Works could begin as early as 2023, creating additional capacity and improve reliability of services on the Brighton Main Line.

Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway held six events in February and of the 429 survey responses received by Network Rail, 87 per cent of respondents supported the infrastructure upgrade and 72 per cent supported the proposed service alterations, which would allow direct trains to London Bridge and beyond.

GTR has committed to undertaking a thorough consultation prior to any new timetable introduction to ensure it meets the needs of passengers.

In addition to the platform extension, the proposals for Reigate station include a larger, improved car park with additional designated parking bays, an upgrade to electrical power supply, and the introduction of step-free access into the main station building.

John Halsall, managing director, Network Rail Southern region, said: “The platforms at Reigate are currently too short for Thameslink trains to call, which means services to and from London Victoria need to split and join up at Redhill, often holding passengers up, especially during peak times.

“By lengthening the platform for longer trains, we can increase capacity and reduce delays, keeping passengers moving.”

Angie Doll, managing director, Southern and Gatwick Express, said: “These comprehensive proposals would not only transform journey opportunities and experience for our passengers using Reigate station, but would allow reliability and capacity improvements across the busiest part of our network. It’s very pleasing to see such strong local support.”

Crispin Blunt, MP for Reigate said: “I am fully supportive of Network Rail’s plans to create a new long platform at Reigate Station to enable 12-car Thameslink trains to terminate there and facilitate direct services from Reigate to London Bridge.

“This has long been an integral part of the Thameslink south coast upgrade scheme and, along with improvements at East Croydon, Gatwick Airport and Norwood Hill, forms part of integrated plans by Network Rail to give Brighton Main Line passengers more reliable, more frequent and faster services.

“I welcome the plans for increased parking facilities at Reigate Station and also the commitment to exploring signalling options to reduce the level-crossing barrier down-time.”

Cllr Richard Biggs, Executive Member for Planning Policy, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council said: “We support, in principle, the proposal to increase capacity, improve connections and provide a more reliable service for people traveling to and from Reigate Station. I’m pleased to see so many people shared their views in the survey.

“The Council will continue to work with Network Rail to make the case for investment in our railways.”

The feedback received will help inform future designs of the upgrade, with key themes including:

  • Concerns over the proposed service pattern presented
  • Encouragement and support to complete the project as soon as possible
  • Concerns over the level crossing/upgrade requests
  • Requests to improve ticket barriers/machines/ticket office
  • The need for more information about the project

As part of the next design stage, Network Rail will investigate concerns regarding traffic congestion and barrier timings as part of a thorough assessment.

A summary of the feedback received earlier this year and frequently asked questions is now available at networkrail.co.uk/Reigate.

The Reigate proposals form a key part of plans to give Brighton Main Line passengers more reliable, more frequent and faster services. Network Rail is currently seeking feedback on its proposals to unblock a railway bottleneck in Croydon which regularly contributes to delays along the line of route.

The Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS) would remove the bottleneck by remodelling the complex series of flat railway junctions in the Selhurst triangle junction and expanding East Croydon station to increasing its capacity and improve accessibility.

The CARS consultation is currently running from 1 June to 20 September 2020, and members of the public can have their say by visiting networkrail.co.uk/Croydon.