Upgrading Gatwick Airport station

A new look Gatwick Airport station is now open to passengers, transforming the journey from train to plane and giving passengers easier, faster and more reliable train journeys.   

In 2019 more than 21 million air travellers and passengers used the station, up from 14 million in 2010. The existing station was not built to accommodate the number of passengers per year who now use the station.   

The Gatwick station upgrade began in 2020, to deliver significant benefits for millions of rail users, commuters and airport passengers and create a station that befits Gatwick’s status as a gateway to the country.  

A bigger, better and brighter station with a new second concourse and airport entrance with double the space for passengers entered into service on 21 November. 

The benefits

More space and better journeys for all passengers  

  • We’ve built a second bigger concourse: a new superstructure towers above the station platforms as a new entrance into the Airport. This has doubled the amount of space for passengers and supports movement around the station, and in and out of the Airport.   
  • The existing station entrance and concourse have been refurbished with new flooring, new wayfinding, new wide gatelines, a modern open plan ticket area and an additional 500m² of space creating a much better experience for passengers. 

Improved accessibility  

  • Eight new escalators, five new lifts and four new stairways have been installed across the station to support passenger movement and improve the journeys of people with reduced mobility, the elderly and those travelling with a pushchair or luggage. 
  • Platforms 6 has been widened to reduce crowding and improve pedestrian flow.  
  • The upgrade is fully compliant with the National Technical Specification Notices (NTSN) for Rail Interoperability, specifically in relation to accessibility. 
  • The end-to-end passenger journey was developed in close collaboration with the rail service providers, station operators and Gatwick Airport from project inception, supporting step-free independent travel for all passengers including those with restricted mobility. 
  • A dedicated Special Assistance Point has been created within the newly refurbished existing Station Entrance Concourse, providing 24/7 assistance for passengers who require additional support on their journey. 
  • New tactile signage, including braille has been integrated into the wayfinding signage strategy alongside hearing loops at key touch points along the route, such as the ticket retail and information point. 
  • Five new high-capacity lifts, located centrally on the platforms, enable step-free access between platforms and the concourse which minimising travel distances, ensuring safe and accessible routes are optimised throughout the station.

A faster, more reliable train service.

  • Wider platforms, new escalators, lifts and stairways will allow passengers to board and alight trains more quickly. This means trains spend less time on platforms, reducing delays and supporting a more reliable service. 
  • We’ve also remodelled track in the Gatwick area to speed up journeys for passengers travelling on the Brighton Main Line by reducing the journey times of up to 30 trains a day by 5 minutes.

The Project

This time lapse video shows the dismantling and removal of one of the tower cranes from site.

Please note – the video below doesn’t contain a voice over or an audio description.

Delivering a sustainable project

Sustainability is at the heart of the project and the whole team is passionate about delivering the Carbon Management Plan.

Future proofing energy demand from operational costs through the choice of lighting and heating has created an estimated annual operational cost saving of £58,686 and an annual reduction of 143.57 tonnes of carbon emissions equivalent, with projected savings of nearly £3 million over 50 years.

A number of design efficiencies have been implemented to make carbon and cost savings:

  • LED lighting has been installed in all permanent installations. Each halogen bulb switched to a similarly bright LED bulb has saved 5kg of CO2 emissions.
  • Energy saving reduced speed technology has been implemented with the new station escalators. This means that the escalator will operate at a slow speed when empty then speed up automatically when passenger load is detected.
  • A hybrid heating and cooling system has been installed in the new Back of House building providing energy efficiencies and cost savings.
  • Instant water heaters with longer life spans than traditional storage water heaters that use less energy and water have been installed.

Low carbon concrete

The project uses low carbon concrete and has so far used just under 3,000m3. This has saved more than 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions over a standard concrete – the equivalent to driving 3,000,000 km in a diesel car, which is almost 75 trips round the circumference of the world.

Any leftover concrete (which would normally end up as waste) is used to create planters weighing around 70kg each – these are then donated to local schools and hospices.

Over 200 planters have been donated so far. Normally the excess concrete would be put into a wash out skip to solidify and then be broken up and taken off site by our waste supplier.


It is vitally important (and a legal requirement) when carrying out a construction project to complete the appropriate surveys to identify any protected flora or fauna that are present on the site.

A new survey technique for analysing water samples called eDNA (environmental DNA) was carried out on the site in May to check for the presence of any Great Crested Newts. Water samples were taken from the culvert and then analysed in a laboratory – the results returned were negative which meant that no protected flora of fauna was found on the site.

Contact us

For more information on the station upgrade you can visit our contact us page or call our 24-hour national helpline on 0345 711 4141 or you can contact us on Twitter at @NetworkRailSE