Plans announced by Network Rail today could see an additional six trains an hour on the Brighton Main Line by 2024.
This, on top of a planned doubling of capacity by 2020, increases the frequency between Gatwick and London to 24 trains per peak hour.
Gatwick claims the additional frequencies will mean a train from the airport to central London every two and a half minutes. Network Rail said the improvements are necessary to deliver the extra peak capacity required to meet the growth in passenger demand on the Brighton Main Line up to 2043.
The proposals build on previous committed improvements that will double the rail capacity through Gatwick airport by 2020. New fleets of trains between London and Brighton via Gatwick are set to be introduced by new franchise holder Govia Thameslink from next year.
Gatwick airport’s head of surface transport, Julia Gregory, said: “Rail capacity from Gatwick to London will double by 2020 and the robust case put forward by Network Rail today would see us well on the way to a near trebling by 2035.
“We are excited by the transformation in quality, capacity and reliability that today’s proposals and the committed improvements already underway will bring to the region. These create a win-win for commuters and airport passengers and deliver important economic benefits.”
Both Gatwick and Heathrow airports have been shortlisted for potential new runways by the Airports Commission, which will be making its final recommendation for expansion in the south-east in summer 2015 after the next general election.