The train operator, Southern is suspending services to London Victoria from next week, until at least 10th January due to increased levels of staff sickness. Southern says the reduced timetable means it will be able to offer a more reliable service with fewer last-minute cancellations due to driver shortages.

The reduced timetable will operate until further notice, but an update will be provided next week on planned services from Monday 10th January.

So, from next Tuesday – Southern railway will be amended as follows:

Services to/from London Victoria

As a result, there will be no Southern services at London Victoria, Battersea Park, Clapham Junction or Wandsworth Common. Southern services on the following routes will be diverted north of East Croydon to London Bridge:

  • Ore – Hastings – Eastbourne – London
  • Littlehampton – Hove – London
  • Southampton/Portsmouth Harbour/Bognor Regis – Horsham – London
  • East Grinstead – London
  • Horsham – Dorking – Epsom – London

Passengers are recommended to use the London Underground to continue their journey from London Bridge.

In addition, Southern Metro services via Streatham Common/Streatham Hill that normally run to/from London Victoria will terminate at/start from Balham. There will be no direct service between Mitcham Junction and Balham.

The Brighton to London Victoria services will be suspended, Reigate to London Victoria services will remain on diversion to form an hourly service between Reigate and Tonbridge.

Gatwick Express will also remain suspended, as it has been over the festive period to allow for engineering works, until further notice. Gatwick Express crews will instead focus on supporting Southern services, which also serve Gatwick Airport.

Services to/from London Bridge

The London Bridge to London Victoria shuttle will be suspended, as will be the service between Epsom to London Bridge via Carshalton Beeches.

The London Bridge to East Croydon via New Cross Gate, Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, Sydenham, Penge West and Norwood Junction is being suspended – customers are recommended to switch to London Overground.

Caterham to London Bridge services via Tulse Hill will run and will split and join with another train at Purley to provide a service to Tattenham Corner on a half-hourly basis.

The Beckenham Junction to London Bridge via Tulse Hill service will be reduced to two trains per hour.

Southern is part of the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) group, and there are also changes to timetables on Thameslink and Great Northern lines.


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  1. Jake says:

    Why on earth is the DfT allowing these cowboys to get away with this? Today there was a 25 minute gap in SWR services from Clapham Junction to Vauxhall; hardly a feasible diversionary route for those of us who work in Victoria.

    Southern FAIL strikes again.

  2. ChrisC says:

    What an absolute mess.

    Cutting off a major station and routes is simply not acceptable – especially after the Christmas closure (which is still going on at the moment)

    I get they may be short of drivers but surely they could have still ensured some sort of service to / from Victoria (if only to help people getting to Gatwick not having to trek across London to Blackfriars / London Bridge)

    I’m assuming this has come in far to close to enabling Network Rail to do engineering work on the unused tracks and perhaps obviating the need for some of the 2022 weekend closures needed for the signalling project.

    • Nicholas Lewis says:

      Im sure they will take advantage of the extended closure where they can but unlikely to be able to bring forward a complete weekend closure.

      Clearly the current situation is difficult for all operators and rolling over what they have in place gives certainty but to not even run a shuttle up from Croydon seems very poor. DofT aren’t bothered as they probably think they are saving money!!

  3. NG says:

    I assume that Victoria ( Eastern )
    [ SECR & before that LCDR ] is still operational – that it’s only the “Brighton” side that is closed?

  4. Richard says:

    Whilst it has not been announced officially, I suspect overrunning engineering works, not uncommon with signalling projects.
    Covid restrictions required additional weekend works for the Hither Green area resignalling last year, after the supposed final stage at Easter.
    Most remaining Southern services require a London terminal and with London Bridge being served with Thameslink trains, it would be expected that Southern services would serve Victoria as a preference to maintain the network and connections.
    It would be very difficult to revise possession works at short notice, with all the hoops rail projects now have to jump through to demonstrate that they are good to go, ie. the proposed works can be completed safely during the time allocated.
    With extensive track and signalling alterations being made north of Clapham Junction, I would anticipate the works would need to be completed as designed, with no halfway house available if completion is not possible, unless previously planned and designed; an unlikely scenario.
    With fewer people travelling due to Covid restrictions, I would anticipate that the agreed contingency for an overrun would be to close the line for an additional week, which is what has happened.

    • ianVisits says:

      I am fascinated how people have been determined to find a conspiracy going on when it’s quite simply the same thing happening to the trains that has happened to most industries in the UK at the moment – lots of staff shortages because of covid.

    • ChrisC says:

      I’ve seen people elsewhere say it’s the Xmas engineering works overrunning that have caused this extended closure but have provided no evidence of that.

      In the past the likes of Southern have screamed blue murder when engineering works have over ran but now they are in on the ‘cover up’ and have meekly acquiesced to Network Rail!

    • Paul says:

      There is a more likely and much simpler explanation. The timetable and rosters used for the Victoria closure use a lot less crews so Southern have taken the expedient solution of using these for a further week to address their COVID resourcing issues. I’m not excusing the lack of planning that meant this was the only practical option nor the impact on customers.

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