Train services to Gatwick are set to double with the introduction of new rolling stock and major track improvements.
New Thameslink trains serving the airport are due to begin operating from spring 2016 on the Brighton to Bedford line.
The new trains will also start operating on two new direct services connecting Gatwick to both Peterborough and Cambridge from 2018, following completion of a £6.5 billion Thameslink line upgrade.
New Gatwick Express trains will also enter service between the airport and London Victoria from early next year, with 108 new carriages designed specifically for airport passengers.
The new trains will deliver more seats and mean rail capacity through Gatwick will double and a train will leave the airport for London every three minutes, according to the airport.
The planned hourly timetable would see:
• Four dedicated Gatwick Express trains to Victoria
• Six trains to Victoria – originating from East and West Coastway, Horsham/Littlehampton, and Three Bridges/Haywards Heath
• Four trains to Bedford via London Bridge – originating from Gatwick and Brighton
• Two trains to Cambridge via London Bridge – originating from Brighton
• Two trains to Peterborough via London Bridge – originating from Horsham
• Two trains to London Bridge – originating from Littlehampton/West Coastway, and Haywards Heath/Three Bridges.
The improvements in services are being matched by a £120.5 million transformation Gatwick Airport railway station by 2020 to more than double the size of the concourse area.
Airport chief commercial officer, Guy Stephenson, said: “The new high frequency service that will serve Gatwick will transform rail journeys for our passengers, with capacity doubling and a train to London every three minutes.
“Crucially, the new trains will be much more reliable and will be stacked with amenities suited to the needs of air travellers. Combined with robust new track and signalling systems, Gatwick’s passengers will experience a really pleasant and dependable service.
“Overall, the improvements to Gatwick’s rail service means that 15 million people will be brought within 60 minutes of Gatwick by rail – the best reach of any UK airport,” he claimed.
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