Gatwick Airport railway station

Gatwick Airport National Rail

Southbound view from Platform 2 in September 1995
Place London Gatwick Airport
Local authority Borough of Crawley
Coordinates 51°09′23″N 0°09′39″W / 51.1565°N 0.1609°W / 51.1565; -0.1609Coordinates: 51°09′23″N 0°09′39″W / 51.1565°N 0.1609°W / 51.1565; -0.1609
Grid reference TQ287413
Station code GTW
Managed by Southern
Number of platforms 7 (3 island, 1 side)
DfT category B
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2010/11 Increase 13.129 million
2011/12 Increase 14.759 million
2012/13 Increase 15.353 million
2013/14 Increase 16.186 million
2014/15 Increase 17.494 million
Original company London, Brighton & South Coast Railway
1891 Opened as Gatwick
1946 Renamed Gatwick Racecourse
27 May 1958 Rebuilt and renamed Gatwick Airport
National Rail – UK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Gatwick Airport from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Gatwick Airport station is the railway station at London Gatwick Airport which provides a direct rail connection to London 26 34 miles (43.0 km) away. The station platforms are located about 70 metres to the east of the airport's South Terminal, with the ticket office above the platforms. The station was one of 18 in the United Kingdom to be managed by Network Rail,[1] but on 29 January 2012 day-to-day management was transferred to Southern.[2] Train services are provided by Gatwick Express, Southern, Thameslink and Great Western Railway. When viewed from the air (or in satellite imagery), the present station building's British Rail logo that is etched on the top of the roof is visible.[3]

In terms of passenger entries and exits between April 2010 and March 2011, Gatwick Airport was the tenth-busiest station outside London.[4]

TfL Oyster cards and contactless cards have been accepted for travel from 11 January 2016.[5]


There have been two Gatwick stations sited approximately 0.85 miles (1.37 km) from each other.

Present station

The station, originally named Gatwick, was built on the present site in September 1891 to serve the Gatwick Racecourse, and originally operated only on race days. The facilities included passing loops and sidings to hold race trains without impeding the Brighton Main Line.[6] The sidings were extended during World War I to be able to accommodate munitions trains heading for Newhaven.[7]

From 1946 until 1958, Gatwick station was renamed Gatwick Racecourse, even though racing had been abandoned in 1940 and not reinstated after World War II. In fact the station had fallen out of use following the opening of the nearby Tinsley Green/Gatwick Airport Station (described below). However, during the early 1950s the airport was expanded and took over the land occupied by the racecourse, and the station was entirely rebuilt and integrated with the new airport terminal. The new buildings opened on 27 May 1958 with a regular train service, and the station took over the name Gatwick Airport.

The 1958 buildings included a parcels office below the main concourse, lifts and a corridor on the south side of the overbridge, divided from the passenger corridor by a glazed partition. To accommodate 12-car trains, the three old Racecourse island platforms were raised by 1 ft (0.30 m) and extended to the north by about 100 ft (30 m), except for the very long westernmost platform, which was reduced from the south. The ticket office was able to handle 670 separate issues of Edmondson tickets from its Bellmatic equipment. The signalbox was retained on the centre platform.[8]

Tinsley Green/Gatwick Airport Station

This was opened on 30 September 1935 and was sited 0.85 miles (1.37 km) south of the present station. It was originally named Tinsley Green but within a year became Gatwick Airport following the completion of the Beehive airport terminal which had a direct connection to the station. The airport was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force in 1940. In 1952 the British government decided that it would form London's second airport. The station continued in operation until 27 May 1958 when the present Gatwick Airport station (above) opened. The station was later demolished and the only visible remains of the old station are sections of the former up slow line platform. Sections of the connecting subway between the station and the original terminal building (The Beehive) also survive.


On 13 October 2010, a £53 million redevelopment was announced to provide a new platform, refurbish the concourse and upgrade track and signals.[9] Works were completed by 3 February 2014, when Baroness Kramer formally opened the new platform.[10] Constructed by VolkerFitzpatrick, the new 12-car platform 7 is served by a 975-metre (3,199 ft) loop from the Down Fast line and is used by the Down Fast services which formerly called at platform 5.[11] This has allowed platforms 5 and 6 to be dedicated to Gatwick Express services, thereby eliminating conflicts with slower services when formerly they crossed to platforms 1 and 2.[11][12] New escalators and lifts on platforms 5 and 6 were also provided.[11]


Northbound view from Platform 5 in March 2007
Southbound view from Platform 5 in February 2009

Gatwick station is served by:

Preceding station National Rail Following station
Horley   Southern
Arun Valley Line
  Three Bridges
Redhill or
Mainline West
(via Horsham)
  Three Bridges
East Croydon   Southern
Mainline West
(via Hove)
  Haywards Heath
East Croydon   Southern
Mainline East
  Haywards Heath
East Croydon   Southern
Brighton Main Line
  Three Bridges or
Burgess Hill
East Croydon
or Redhill
  Three Bridges
Redhill   Great Western Railway
North Downs Line
London Victoria   Southern
Gatwick Express
  Terminus or


  1. "Commercial information" (PDF). Complete National Rail Timetable. London: Network Rail. December 2011. p. 41. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. "Management of Gatwick Airport railway station transfers to Southern". Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  3. Gatwick Airport Railway Station, London Gatwick Airport, Gatwick, West Sussex RH6, United Kingdom – Google Maps
  4. Pigott, Nick, ed. (June 2012). "Waterloo still London's busiest station". The Railway Magazine. Horncastle, Lincs: Mortons Media Group. 158 (1334): 6.
  6. Turner, John Howard (1979). The London Brighton and South Coast Railway 3 Completion and Maturity. Batsford. pp. 128–9. ISBN 0-7134-1389-1.
  7. Pratt, Edwin (1921). British railways and the Great War. Selwyn & Blount. pp. 1038–9.
  8. Railway Magazine July 1958 pp. 489–491 New Southern Region Station for Gatwick Airport
  9. "Gatwick Airport unveils £53m station revamp". BBC News. 13 October 2010.
  10. Nigel Harris, ed. (5–18 March 2014). "New platform opens as part of Gatwick Airport improvement work". Rail (743): 20.
  11. 1 2 3 Railway Gazette (3 February 2014). "Extra platform opened at Gatwick Airport station". Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  12. Network Rail (2011). "Gatwick Airport Station Redevelopment Project" (PDF). Retrieved 10 March 2014.

Media related to Gatwick Airport railway station at Wikimedia Commons

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