Tens of thousands train passengers are now in chaos as Southern Rail cancels a number of services. It also says that its London Victoria station hub will remain closed for the remainder of the week.

Due to Network Rail’s engineering works, lines in and out from Britain’s second-busiest station were closed over Christmas. Services were rerouted to London Bridge with a plan reopening in January.

Southern, however, has stated that there will not be any Southern Express or Gatwick Express service at London Victoria or Battersea Park until January 10, 2020, the first week of 2021.

Operator stated that there will be reduced services on all routes “until further notice” due to the ongoing coronavirus impact, which causes high levels of sickness in staff and self-isolation. 

This is despite England’s Government cutting last week the requirement for self-isolation in England from ten to seven days, for people who had a negative lateral flow on day six or seven of their quarantine. 

Southern has now said there will be no Southern or Gatwick Express services at London Victoria until January 10 (file image)

Southern announced that there would be no Gatwick Express service to London Victoria from Southern until January 10. (file photo)

Southern announced that all trains would run at different times and was cutting the service to give more control over trains and avoid cancellations.  

Southern’s suburban trains heading to London from the suburbs will stop at Balham station, South London. During these weeks passengers must change on to the Underground’s Northern line in order to continue their journeys.

And the Gatwick Express, which only resumed three weeks ago after an 18-month closure due to the pandemic, has been suspended again – affecting those returning at the airport from a Christmas and New Year break abroad.

Victoria, the UK’s 2nd busiest station, was 13.8 million people in and out of it. 

People walk through London Victoria station on December 23, which is not going to be served by Southern until January 10

London Victoria station is visited by people on December 23rd. Southern won’t be going to serve it until January 10, however.

Current services still operate in Victoria via Southeastern trains to South East London, Kent.

How will Southern Rail Chaos affect you? 

Up to January 10, the London Victoria, Battersea Park and Clapham Junction will no longer receive Southern or Gatwick Express trains. 

These routes are for southern services:

  • Ore – Hastings – Eastbourne – London
  • Littlehampton – Hove – London
  • Southampton/Portsmouth Harbour/Bognor Regis – Horsham – London
  • East Grinstead – London
  • Horsham – Dorking – Epsom – London

Southern Metro Services via Streatham Common/Streatham Hill, which normally operate to London Victoria, will now terminate in/start at Balham 

This is how these changes can affect your travel: 


You can travel by London Bridge and London Blackfriars via Thameslink, then use Transport for London buses to finish your journey.


Queenstown Road Station is nearby for Clapham Junction or London Waterloo. TfL buses can be used to get between Battersea Park & London Victoria.


London Bridge: Use Southeastern Services between London Bridge & Waterloo East and South Western Railway between Waterloo Junction & Clapham Junction


TfL buses are available for travel to Wandsworth Common, Clapham Junction or Balham. 

Balham has Northern Line service between Balham and Central London. For Victoria Line connections, you can switch at Stockwell.


The services have been suspended. Instead, you can take the Southern or Thameslink train to get between Brighton, Gatwick Airport, and Central London.


Southern services will not be available between Clapham Junction/Kensington Olympia, Watford Junction or Milton Keynes. London Overground, Southern/Tube/London Northwestern Services via London Victoria/Euston.


The route from East Croydon to London Bridge via Forest Hill will not have an all-stations Southern train. You can instead use London Overground, which will provide services to all stations from West Croydon through Norwood Junction, New Cross Gate and West Croydon. 


There is no direct route to Central London. To travel from Norwood Junction to London Bridge, change at Norwood Junction.

CrossCountry advised customers not to travel on New Year’s Eve due to a strike of Rail, Maritime and Transport union members. It will be’very limited in time’.

The statement stated that customers should alter plans as possible to prevent travel on December 31st. 

There will be no trains operating between the following locations: Aberdeen, Edinburgh; Glasgow Central or Edinburgh; Derby and Nottingham. Peterborough and Stansted. Cheltenham Spa, Cardiff Central. Newton Abbot. Paignton. Plymouth and Penzance.

There will be a ‘heavily discounted service’ between Edinburgh and Plymouth, Manchester Piccadilly or Bournemouth and Birmingham New Street and Peterborough.

Train managers and senior conductors are involved in the dispute over guards.

Southern was not the only one to cancel trains as a result of the pandemic.

There are Avanti West Coast (CrossCountry), Greater Anglia (London North Eastern Railway), Northern, ScotRail and TransPennine Express, as well Transport for Wales.

Southern has decided to stop London Victoria service. This means that it won’t serve Clapham Junction or Wandsworth Common, nor Battersea Park.

London Victoria’s planned resignalling works had already led to most Southern trains that were due to service the station from December 27 to January 3, being diverted to London Bridge.

It was chosen to be in the middle of low travel demand periods like Christmas.

Southern announced in a recent announcement that the disruption will continue for at least one week into 2022.

RMT employees at Gate Gourmet also strike Edinburgh Waverley on the New Year’s Eve in an ongoing dispute about bullying allegations.

Mick Lynch, RMT General Secretary said that the disruption in services resulting from the New Years Eve strike action was entirely due to greedy private railroad companies seeking to extract every penny by cutting safety, job quality and dignity at work.

The CrossCountry and Gate Gourmet members are standing for railroad workers. We expect to see a torrential attack on job, safety and wages in 2022.

“We are prepared for another year of action and campaigning on all fronts.”