Three Bridges Station – Crawley Observer

Transport Secretary Opens Three Bridges Traincare Facility
Train depot creating 150 new jobs opens
21st October 2015 – Crawley Observer

By Berny Torre
phone 01403 751223

A new Three Bridges train depot the size of 13 football pitches has created 150 jobs.

Transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin officially opened Three Bridges Traincare facility on Thursday (October 15).

It marked a milestone in the multi-billion pound Government Thameslink Programme which is due to create rail links from Three Bridges to Bedfordshire and Kent by 2018.

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said the depot would play a significant part in housing and maintaining the new 1,140 carriage fleet for the expanded Thameslink network.


It will operate from Bedford, Cambridge and Peterborough to Brighton, Horsham, Gatwick, Maidstone and Sevenoaks.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said: “Crawley commuters, and people travelling to work from across the south east, can expect a step change in capacity as a result of the new fleet of Class 700 trains.

‘At the end of 2018, trains will run in and out of London every two to three minute so providing a service of up to 24 trains an hour during peak times.

“I’m delighted that as a result of Siemens’ €300 million investment, there will be an estimated 150 jobs based at the site. I’m also pleased that over the course of the next year, 26 apprentices will be based at the new depot.”

He added: “I’m pleased that Siemens, Govia Thameslink Railway and Network Rail chose to locate their new facility at Three Bridges in Crawley, building on the area’s considerable rail heritage.

“It was a pleasure to show the Transport Secretary around the site.” Mr Mcloughlin said: “The opening of this state-of-the-art facility is a major milestone and paves the way for an impressive new fleet of hi-tech trains to come into service from spring next year.

“The improvements will transform rail travel for millions of passengers, with better journeys on fantastic new Class 700 trains, improved connections and upgraded stations.

“Our plan for passengers is delivering real improvements for those who use Thameslink services.”

Three Bridges – Crawley News

Train service exposed as one of UK’s most crowded
Passengers blast ‘nightmare’ Three Bridges and Gatwick journey
16th September 2015 – Crawley News


By Rachel Barr

A train service which passes through Three Bridges and Gatwick is one of the most crowded in the country according to the Department for Transport.


STANDING ROOM ONLY: A Gatwick and Three Bridges service has been named as the seventh most crowded in the country

A list of the ten most crowded rail services in England and Wales in 2014 has been released by the Government department; and the 7.24am Brighton to Bedford train came in at number seven.

The service, which now runs at 7.22am from Brighton after the timetable was tweaked, arrives at Three Bridges at 7.56am.

It is particularly crowded mainly because it the latest train many people can get and still arrive in London for 9am. It arrives at London Blackfriars at 8.49, City Thameslink at 8.52, Farringdon at 8.56 and St Pancras at 9am.

After we reported on our website that the service was among the country’s most crowded Crawley commuters took to Facebook to explain how they had changed their routines just to avoid it.

Trish Jenkins said: “I pro-actively choose to get up earlier just to avoid that hellish journey every day “It is borderline dangerous some days and I’ve seen people get very anxious over the crowding, heat and fights that ensue by the time it hits East Croydon.”

Several passengers have also started sitting in First Class to try and combat the overcrowding.


Laura Meyer said: “I can’t stand on the train due to health reasons, and feel awkward presenting a card to someone sitting, so at first I bought first class tickets for my commute.

“Then I found out that you aren’t even guaranteed that because if it’s really busy loads of people sit in them anyway.

“In the end, I just get off any full train and wait for the next one.”

Tracey Palmer added: “It’s a nightmare for my family We have to get early trains to get to appointments at Great Ormond Street.

“All the commuters mutter under their breath when they see us with the buggy Me and my son were nearly crushed one day.

“I now sit in first class if there is a seat, with my son on my lap and if anyone says anything they will get a mouthful. Some of us don’t have a choice what train we get.”

Another train user Colin Latimer-Parry, said the trains on the route have a lack of storage space which causes even more problems.

“I get this train every day to Luton,” he explained. “What doesn’t help is the new style train doesn’t have enough storage room for luggage and when customers board at Gatwick space is at a premium.”

A spokesman for Thameslink, which runs the service, said that improvements have already been made since the figures were recorded.

He said: “Since the passenger count was carried out on this train last autumn, we have removed two station stops which has relieved the crowding.

“These stops were removed in readiness for the introduction of the first of our new longer, 12-carriage trains, from spring next year which will provide further capacity for our passengers.

“And later, in 2018, when the Thameslink Programme is finished, we will be able to triple the number of carriages from Brighton to London Blackfriars via East Croydon in the busiest hour of the morning peak providing, additionally, many more carriages from East Croydon , on trains from other routes.”

The spokesman also said that new Thameslink trains have been designed with airport travellers in mind. They will be more spacious with bigger entrance areas of the carriages.

The most crowded trains in Britain …

  1. 4.22am Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport
  2. 4pm Manchester Airport to Edinburgh
  3. 6.31am Reading to London Paddington
  4. 7.57am London Heathrow to London Paddington
  5. 7.02am Reading to London Paddington
  6. 6.35am Caterham Victoria Central
  7. 7.24am Brighton to Bedford
  8. 6pm Manchester Airport to Edinburgh
  9. 7.32am Woking to London Waterloo
  10. 7.02am Woking to London Waterloo

Crawley Observer – Three Bridges Station

Have our Say on Train Station Plans
19th November 2014 – Crawley Observer

By Observer Reporter
phone 01293 845058

People are invited to comment on proposals to improve access and safety at Three Bridges Train Station.

Crawley Borough Council in partnership with Southern Rail and West Sussex County Council, are putting forward two proposals for people to comment on which will help Crawley’s councillors make a decision in
February next year.

The aim of the proposals, which focus on the forecourt and/or road, is to make the station safer and easier to access.

Large numbers of pedestrians, cyclists, cars and public transport can make the area confusing and unsafe during peak hours.

There arc two options to consider and both have different benefits and potential short-term issues.

Option one proposes changes that impact the€ way pedestrians, cyclists, cars, buses and taxis access and move around the station forecourt, including changes to the highway.

Option two impacts how cars and taxis move around the station without making changes to the exit and entrance or the highway.

A series of exhibitions will be held in the town where proposals can be viewe€d, also giving visitors an opportunity to ask questions.

These take place on:

  • Wednesday 19 November, 5pm-7pm, Three Bridges Station
  • Saturday 22 November, 10am-2pm, Crawley Library
  • Wednesday 26 November, 10am-2pm, County Mall Crawley
  • Thursday 27 November, 10am-2pm, County Mall Crawley
  • Saturday 29 November, 10am-12pm, Three Bridges Station

Work could start in 2016, depending on the scheme, and is expected to last between 6 and l2 months. It’s likely to be carried out in phases to minimise disruption.

Access and Safety at Three Bridges Train Station

Crawley Borough Council, in partnership with Southern Rail and West Sussex County Council, are putting forward two proposals to improve access and safety at Three Bridges Train Station.

Crawley residents, businesses and rail users are asked to comment on the proposals which will help Crawley’s councillors make a decision in February next year.

The aim of the proposals, which focus on the forecourt and / or road, is to make the station safer and easier to access. Large numbers of pedestrians, cyclists, cars and public transport can make the area confusing and unsafe during peak hours.

The two options have differing benefits and potential short-term issues. You can see details and comment on the proposals by visiting website

There will also be a series of exhibitions held where you can view the proposals and ask questions:

  • Tuesday 18 November, 6pm – 7pm, Crawley Library
  • Wednesday 19 November, 5pm – 7pm, Three Bridges Train Station
  • Saturday 22 November, 10am – 2pm, Crawley Library
  • Wednesday 26 November, 10am – 2pm, County Mall Crawley
  • Thursday 27 November, 10am – 2pm, County Mall Crawley
  • Saturday 29 November, 10am – 12pm, Three Bridges Train Station

The consultation will run until Friday 5 December 2014


Crawley News – More trains at Gatwick

More trains every hour at Gatwick

22th October 2014 – Crawley News


PLANS announced by Network Rail on Friday could see an additional six trains an hour on the Brighton Main Line by 2024.

This, on top of a planned doubling of rail capacity at Gatwick by 2020, would increase the frequency of trains between the airport and London to 24 per hour at peak times, with a train to the capital every two-and-a-half

The changes would also see increased services at Three Bridges, although not all trains would stop at the station.

Network Rail says the improvements are necessary to deliver the extra capacity at peak times to meet the anticipated growth in passenger demand on the line – one of the UK’s busiest rail routes – up to 2043.

As well as commuter demand, Network Rail believes the extra services would make room for all the extra passengers a second runway at Gatwick would create.

New fleets of high quality trains between London and Brighton are set to be introduced by new franchise holder Govia Thameslink from as early as next year.

The improvements will also allow for more 12-carriage trains to be run.

Julia Gregory, from Gatwick Airport, said: “Rail capacity from Gatwick to London will double by 2020 and the robust case put forward by Network Rail would see us well on the way to a near trebling by 2035.”

Three Bridges Depot

Thameslink Rolling Stock Project
Three Bridges Depot Construction
July 2013

This is the fourth newsletter issued to provide you with information about ongoing works at Three Bridges as part of the Thameslink Rolling Stock Project.

1. Progress to date:
VolkerFitzpatrick has continued to progress work on the new train maintenance depot at Three Bridges. Good progress has been achieved during the last few months with the erection of buildings on the east and west of the site.

UFC BuildingUFC building on depot east side of Billinton Drive

Works completed to date are the Tilgate Stream culvert, a new footbridge for depot staff, ground works, piling and the erection of steel work for the depot buildings. We have also started installing pre-cast concrete side panels for the main building on the west side and the Under Floor Cleaning (UFC) building on the east side. The majority of the buildings will be clad in steel.

The UFC building will be used for train cleaning. Cleaning will be carried out using pressure washers. There will also be a carriage washer connected to the west side of the UFC building. This will
help the train operators to ensure a clean and comfortable journey for passengers.

We encountered some issues with a pre-existing concrete retaining wall on the Williams Way access road. As a result we had to close this road and open an alternative access route from Norwich Road with the assistance of Crawley Borough Council. This temporary access route will remain in place until the middle of August 2013 when Williams Way will be reopened. 24 hour security will remain at the entrance of the access road until the road is closed. The footpath closure from Norwich Road to Craven Road has been extended due to the temporary access.

2. Planned works:
We are finalising arrangements with West Sussex County Council to develop the new entrance to the east side of the depot off Billinton Drive. These works will commence in the next two months and will be controlled using traffic lights and take place out of peak traffic hours to minimise disruption.

Other works planned during the next two months are to complete the buildings’ concrete panels and then begin the cladding process, work on retaining walls on the site boundaries, undertake drainage works, and complete the bridge extension work adjacent to Norwich Road and off Maidenbower Lane.

Main Building Facility

Main Facility Building

We have been in consultation with the Council to provide the most effective landscaping for the depot and train operations. Landscaping will take place in and around the site. This will include fencing, tree and shrub planting to supplement the existing established trees and shrubs around the site boundaries and provide additional screening. The planting will be phased over the
next couple of years to enhance the existing areas before construction is completed. Early planting will be scheduled to screen the buildings, in particular the embankment on the eastern boundary off Billinton Drive.

3. Good News :


Last month the Department for Transport announced it had finalised the agreement with Siemens to provide 1,140 new carriages for the Thameslink routes. The new Siemens Desiro City train will offer a metro-style service across the centre of London with easy access on and off the train and a spacious and airy design that maximises capacity. It will be much more comfortable to travel on, as well as being far more reliable. The first train is due to enter service in early 2016.

These trains will be maintained at the new Three Bridges Depot and at the other new depot in Hornsey that VolkerFitzpatrick is constructing. You can find out more about the new trains at

We are committed to keeping all local residents and businesses up to date on progress with this important project. We will continue to issue regular newsletters and you can also view the latest updates at Three Bridges Railway Station. Network Rail will also keep you up to date on any work they undertake to support the upgrade of the railway network

lf you have any queries, comments or concerns please contact VolkerFitzpatrick,
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on: 07867 835078