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  1. ITV Report

Passengers refunded- but delays continue over new rail timetables

The chaos suffered by hundreds of thousands of Thameslink passengers because of the new timetable fiasco is set to continue for weeks or even months.

It’s been confirmed a new temporary timetable will be introduced two weeks today (July 16th) to try to give passengers “more certainty” over which trains will run and a more reliable service.

Passengers have endured extra disruption since the new timetable was introduced Credit: ITV Meridian

The aim is to reduce long gaps between trains under the current crisis.

The priority will be to run as many rush hour trains as possible but that will mean off peak services face cuts.

The timetable is expected to have hundreds of services axed until the current problems can be resolved.

GTR who run the service refuse to say how many trains will be cut or how long it will last. They say the new timetable is still being finalised with details announced in the coming days.

Meanwhile first class compartments on services can now be used by all Thameslink and Great Northern passengers in the rush hour in a move to ease overcrowding caused by up to 350 cancellations a day.

Credit: ITV Meridian

"First class will be declassified on all Thameslink and Great Northern services during peak journey times to create more space for passengers. This will continue until the interim timetable is implemented on 15 July which will prioritise peak hours services and reduce service gaps. .

"We appreciate that customers may already hold a Thameslink or Great Northern first class season ticket and they will be able to claim the difference in cost for journeys made where first class was declassified. More information will be provided on our websites shortly."

– GTR statement
Credit: PA

A compensation package of a months travel refunded to passengers is expected to be announced at any time. A similar scheme was announced for Northern Rail passengers who have been suffering similar problems on Friday. It is on top of the usual refunds for individual journeys that are late under the delay repay scheme.

Passengers have faced six weeks of chaos after the biggest ever timetable changes for Thamelink, Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern descended into chaos. Problems have included not having enough trains and drivers to operate the extra 400 trains a day as part of the new £7 billion Thameslink scheme. It is aimed at increasing capacity with more trains running through central London from Kent, Sussex and Surrey to the north.

GTR is the biggest operator in the country with 900,000 journeys a day.