It is hoped that May 2018 (or more likely December 2018, that is 2019) will see dramatic improvements in Thameslink services through Herne Hill. This is because the construction of new through platforms at London Bridge will be complete; the full fleet of new trains will have been delivered (and will have drivers trained to use them) and the new signalling system between Blackfriars and King’s Cross will be operational.
The service operator GTR is consulting the public on how these dramatic improvements should be shared out – with major changes in service patterns being considered. The initial ‘Phase 1’ consultation is taking place between now and 8 December 2016. After considering responses, Phase 2 consultation will be carried out in early summer 2017. The initial suggestions are ambitious, with major impacts for some users, but crucially dependent on negotiations with other train operators as Thameslink services converge on East Croydon and Kentish Town.
The initial proposals for Herne Hill are.... to run the current timetable reliably! That is, to have sufficient new reliable trains to run four eight-car trains per hour on Thameslink, with much reduced delays and cancelations, and no short trains. The new ‘Class 700’ trains are now appearing (look for the number on the front) and driver recruitment and training is now beginning to catch up. The Class 700 trains have about two-thirds of the seats of the existing trains, in order to provide much more standing room, and have walk through space between carriages – much like a modern Tube train.
The consultation website is http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/your-journey/timetable-consultation