3 reviews of Gatwick Airport Railway Station in English
The service to gatwick is good cheap and quick. Its also great that the platform is so close to the departure points.
However its very frustrating that you have to lug heavy bags up two escalators before you get a trolley.
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Gatwick airport rail station is one of the very few that is so closely integrated with it’s parent airport. Unlike Luton, where you will need to suffer a 25 minute bus journey to the airport, the train stops very close to the airport, at the South Terminal, where you can catch a free shuttle to the North Terminal if necessary. The station also lies on the West Coast mainline so is easily (and directly) accessible from stations including Birmingham New St, Oxford, Reading and Manchester Picadilly.
Gatwick Airport Station is one of the best airport stations I know: it predates the airport, and is fantastically integrated into the airport facilities – it is just 50m from the upper concourse and ticket hall to the South terminal (the North Terminal requires a 5-minute train-like shuttle and a slightly longer walk).
Originally opened in 1891 as ‘Gatwick Racecourse’ to serve the new racecourse of the same name, it was rebuilt in 1935 when the airport began to develop, complete with two trains an hour to London. When Gatwick Airport was chosen as London’s second airport it was decided to build larger railway station on the present site, as an integrated transport hub, and this opened in 1858. Subsequent refurbishments have given the station we see today. It is now used by over 8.5 million passengers a year, with a further million changing trains, making it the ninth busiest in the UK outside London.
It’s not going to win any architectural awards, but the upper concourse is bright and pleasant enough, the platforms have long canopies and heated waiting areas, and there are lots of electronic information boards and announcements giving departures information. Facilities on the station are limited, but then the airport’s South Terminal provides a range of shops, toilets, banking facilities and left luggage. The station is one of the few where both station and ticket office are staffed 24 hours. The station provides step-free access from platforms to concourse via lifts, and platforms 1 and 2 have a disabled toilet, also with baby changing facilities.
Although Gatwick Airport is about 25 miles (45km) south of London, the plethora of trains makes access easy. During week-days, the basic off-peak service provides 12 trains an hour to London, 4 with each of Gatwick Express (see separate review on Qype) and Southern to Victoria, and 4 with First Capital Connect to London Bridge, and Blackfriars and Kings Cross-St Pancras to Luton/Bedford. There are also regular trains to various South Coast towns, Watford Junction, Reading, and less frequent services to Birmingham and Manchester.
The runway is just to the south of the station, so it is not uncommon to see planes flying just over the trains as they land...
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