London’s Gatwick Airport has reopened its £250 million refurbished station, which is expected to double the area for the millions of travellers that use it each year while easing travel across the airport and enhancing accessibility.

The first passengers used the station on the 05:48 Thameslink Bedford to Brighton route on 21 November 2023.

The “bigger and brighter” station, according to Network Rail, will have a new second concourse and airport entry, as well as eight new escalators and five lifts.

According to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) London Gatwick’s station oversaw six million entries and exits at the station between April 2021 and March 2022.

London Gatwick chief commercial officer Jonathan Pollard emphasised how the station revamp may inspire passengers to travel more sustainably.

Pollard said: “From today, airport passengers travelling by train will have a dramatically improved experience as they pass through the bigger, better and brighter new station concourse.  

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“This fantastic new, fully accessible station concourse will encourage even more passengers to come to the airport using sustainable public transport.”

Credit: Network Rail
Credit: Network Rail

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: “With millions of people travelling into Gatwick Airport by train each year, this station is a major public transport hub and has been upgraded thanks to government funding, improving the train-to-plane journey and delivering more reliable services for passengers.

“Today’s opening demonstrates this government’s commitment to funding improvements to our rail network, transforming a vital station into an impressive gateway to the UK and helping more British and international passengers to travel by train.”

The station has been updated with eight new escalators and five new lifts. Credit: Network Rail.
Credit: Network Rail

Alongside the station’s interior, the concourse, footbridges and South Terminal linkspan have all been reconstructed to form a one-way system from the train station to the airport.

Passengers travelling on the Brighton Main Line have begun to profit from the project, due to track enhancements that have reduced trip times between Brighton and London to one hour on some trains.

An aircraft arriving at Gatwick above the newly refurbished concourse. Credit: Network Rail
Credit: Network Rail