London Toolkit (Spanish Pages)

Southern Trains Between London Victoria & Gatwick

A Cheaper Alternative To The Gatwick Express, But Slower And Less Room


Southern Train at Gatwick Airport

Southern Train at Gatwick - Central London Stopping Train

Southern Trains run frequent train services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria offering a lower cost alternative rail option to the widely marketed Gatwick Express train service. The Gatwick Express train offers a fast non-stop dedicated airport service for which you pay a price premium, only you can judge whether it offers better value.


The Southern Trains stopping trains to Victoria use the same rails as the Gatwick Express but are essentially stopping commuter trains. On average taking 10 minutes longer than the Gatwick Express.

None of the Southern Trains start at Gatwick Airport, unlike the Gatwick Express. Trains are routinely crowded, standing room only at commuter peak times and often surprisingly full at other times, even on Sundays. You may have to stand for 45 minutes if you are unlucky.

However frequencies are at least as good as the Gatwick Express which goes every 15 minutes.


In addition to Southern Trains there is also another line from Gatwick that goes through the City Of London, the business area of London run by Thameslink. This line goes through London and out the other side without terminating. Its route largely avoids the districts of London where the main attractions and hotel districts are. St Pancras is perhaps the exception, a major budget hotel area and also terminus for the Eurostar trains. This service like the Southern trains are also much cheaper than the Gatwick Express.


Clapham Junction is one station that all Southern Trains stop at, this is one of the UK's busiest railway junctions. From here there are frequent trains every couple of minutes to London Waterloo, which is next to the London Eye and may be more convenient than Victoria Station for some.

Logistics Of Using Southern Train Services From/To Gatwick

At Gatwick Airport the train station is integrated into the South Terminal of the airport. From exiting customs into Gatwick Station is about 100 yards

If you are flying into the North Terminal a free monorail link shuttles between the North and South terminals every few minutes and is free of charge. At the South Terminal its terminus is adjacent to the train station.


At Gatwick Airport station there are lifts and escalators down to the platforms, at Victoria the platforms are at street level.

Southern Train Interior
Southern Train Interior

Southern Train Interiors 4 or 5 seats across

As no Southern Train starts at Gatwick Airport you will have to wait a few minutes for the next train to London and check the departure boards for which of Gatwick's 5 platforms it will arrive on.

At Victoria Station all trains terminate here, but there are 19 platforms so again you will need to search the departures board.


There are no seat reservations on any train from Gatwick, (even on the Gatwick Express). Your ticket is for the journey between Gatwick and Victoria on a schedule of your choice. Ticket types are quite complex, (see below) and any discounted tickets will probably have restrictions on the times of day you can use them.

At Gatwick when a train arrives you just a grab a seat that is available on a first come first serve basis. Luggage is limited to what you can carry, don't expect any assistance. There may be no dedicated luggage racks unlike the Gatwick Express on Southern Trains and only a small parcel shelf above the seats.

If you have luggage you may well be the last one aboard as many passengers will not have luggage and much of the train will already be occupied on arrival.


There may be a small first class compartment at one end of a carriage, probably just two rows where you have a little more room, do not sit in first class if you have a standard ticket even if its standing only in second class - a ticket inspector will come around to check.

Train Frequency & Timetables

Southern train services between Gatwick and Victoria run 24x7. Even in the early hours of a Sunday morning the service is hourly and by 5 a.m. is up to four an hour. At peak travel times there can be up to nine trains an hour.

For the full timetable on your dates and times click through on the “Trainline” banner further down the page.


Between London Victoria and Gatwick trains are scheduled to take 35-50 minutes depending on how many stations they stop at.

Southern Trains Standard Fares & Timetables

Gatwick Airport to London, Buses and Train Options Compared

You can buy tickets on the day at the ticket offices at both Gatwick and Victoria railway stations. All major credit cards are taken. However if you buy on-line not only do you avoid any queues but you have a much. much better chance of getting one of the cheap fares.

If you live inside the UK you can have them sent to your home address, if you are overseas you can collect them from a dedicated machine at both Gatwick Station and Victoria Station or have them sent to your home address (for a fee).


The standard types of tickets bought at Gatwick are detailed below. At weekends there is a good chance that an off-peak or super off-peak fare will be available to buy at Gatwick, during the week in all probability only the anytime fares.

  • Off Peak: Buy any time, travel off-peak. The definition of off peak can vary from ticket to ticket. These tickets may require you to travel at specific times of day, days of the week or on a specific route. Where there is more than one Off-Peak fare for a journey, the cheaper fare with more restrictions will be called Super Off-Peak.

  • Anytime: Buy any time, travel any time. (the standard ticket). Anytime fares are fully flexible tickets, with no time restrictions on when you can travel. You can make the return journey within one month of the outward journey.


The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways

On-Line Advance Tickets

There are sometimes special promotional fares for advanced purchase. Offers are normally not made available until 3 months prior to travel and may be a on a first come, first served basis.

Often it is cheaper to buy two one-way advance purchase tickets than a standard return ticket.

For the full fares available on your dates and times click through on the “Trainline” banner further down the page.


Group Discounts - Groupsave tickets save up to 34% for groups of 3 to 9

If you are a group of three to nine adults travelling, you can save up to 34% on the price of individual tickets.

Railcards (see below) cannot get you any further discounts on GroupSave tickets.

You can use GroupSave normally only at at off-peak travel times.

For the full fares available on your dates and times click through on the “Trainline” banner further down the page.


UK Railcards - 33% Discounts

If you are from the UK or you are a visitor planning on using the trains in the UK regularly then Railcards are worthwhile. There are various railcards targeted at different markets, seniors, families, youth and just frequent travellers. The broad proposition is that you pay an annual fee which gives a typical discount of 33% on all fares including promotional fares.

Railcards - More Information


Railways 2 for 1 Sightseeing Promotion

A very worthwhile promotion is the railways 2 for 1 promotion. In summary with a return Southern ticket you qualify for the 2 for 1 sightseeing promotion. As its name suggests, one person pays admission, the other gets in free. Effectively half price.

The scheme is supported by many of the major London attractions as well as many you won't have heard of. Perennial supporters of the scheme have been the Tower of London. Madame Tussaud's, London Zoo, Kensington Palace, Churchill War Rooms and the London Dungeon. Others like the London Eye have drifted in and out of the scheme.

Railways 2 for 1 Sightseeing Promotion - More Information


The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways

Using London Oyster Cards Instead Of Train Tickets Between London & Gatwick

You can now use London's Oyster Cards and contactless payment options to pay for fares on the Gatwick Express, Southern Trains and Thameslink trains between London and Gatwick Airport. However Travelcards are not valid.


On the Gatwick Express service Oyster is not a particularly attractive option, (apart from convenience if you already have an Oyster or will use one within London). It is cheaper to buy tickets direct on-line from the Gatwick Express web site, (banner link above) than use Oyster.

On the Thameslink and Southern services the Oyster proposition is more compelling financially and may or may not be the best solution for you.


If you are visiting London it is highly likely you will acquire an Oyster as the means for paying for transport to get around London. So its a very good investment in time to familiarise yourself with it and how it works. We have a detailed guide to Oyster Cards and Visitor Oyster Cards at the page linked below.

Oyster Cards & Contactless Credit Cards - Full Details


Using Oyster & Visitor Oyster Cards To/From Gatwick - The Key Facts:

If you are contemplating using Oyster from/to Gatwick, below are some key factors that are specific to using Oysters at Gatwick that go beyond fare comparisons.

Visitor Oyster Cards In London On-Line Shop
  • You can buy Visitor Oyster Cards in advance at the TFL on-line shop (see banner link) or from the Visitor Centre at Gatwick. You can buy standard Oyster cards from a machine at the railway station situated at the South Terminal.

  • There is no ticket machine at Gatwick enabling you to cancel your Oyster or Visitor Oyster and get refunded any cash left on the Oyster or your deposit on the standard Oyster. All the machines at Underground Stations in London have this capability including Victoria, London Bridge, Blackfriars and St Pancras.

  • Gatwick has no Oyster fare zone and specific fare cap, your Oyster is just debited for the fare between Gatwick and London.

  • If you interchange between the Gatwick Train journey and the London Underground / DLR networks you will have to pass through ticket barriers at the interchange rail station. As long as you make this change within 15-30 minutes the journey is counted as one. If you have a coffee, have a break for some reason and take longer you will charged for two individual journeys.

  • Travelling from Gatwick using Oyster Cards do not qualify for the railways 2 for 1 promotion, enabling 2 for 1 entry to attractions like the Tower of London, whereas purchasing train tickets would.

  • Unlike Oyster, the train companies offer short term promotional fares and group and family fares.


London - Gatwick Airport Comparison of Fares 2016

Service

Standard Adult Fare*

One-Way

 Return

Bus/Coach Options

National Express Bus To Victoria

from £5.00

from £10.00

easyBus To West Brompton / Waterloo

£2-£11

£4-£22

Train Options

Southern Train To Victoria (Train Ticket)

£12.00/£15.40~

£24.00/£30.80~

Southern Train To Victoria (Oyster)

£8.00/£14.00~

£16.00/£28.00~

Southern Train To Zone 1 (Oyster)

£10.20/£16.20~

£20.40/£32.40~

Thameslink Train To St Pancras (Train Ticket)

£9.40/£10.30~

£19.50/£20.60~

Thameslink Train To St Pancras (Oyster)

£8.00/£14.00~

£16.00/£28.00~

Gatwick Express Train (Ticket on day)

£19.90

£34.90

Gatwick Express Train (Advance on-line)

£17.70

£31.05

Gatwick Express Train (Oyster)

£19.80

£39.60

Gatwick Express Train (Web Duo on-line)

n/a

£44.70†

Shuttles & Private Cars/Coaches

Hotel Van Shuttle

£32

£64

Saloon/Sedan Car (2 People)

£77

£154

Small Bus (12 People)

£230

£460

* Standard adult ticket. Return leg within one month.

† On line only return ticket for 2 adults.

~ Cheapest Off Peak and Anytime fares

Gatwick To London - Location of London Termini Map
Mao Of Locations In London Where Gatwick Airport Transport Departs From
Special Offer Day Tours From London