Gatwick to King's Cross

Old Oct 9th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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Gatwick to King's Cross

I just found out there is a train you can catch at Gatwick that will take you (no changes) to King's Cross. It takes about 47 minutes. Would it be faster to take the Gatwick Express to Victoria, then take a taxi to King's Cross to catch a train to Edinburgh, or take a train from Gatwick to King's Cross to catch a train to Edinburgh? Thanks for your help.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Time to get out of Victoria: 5-10 minutes.
Enroute to King's Cross: 20-40 minutes.
No-brainer.

Unless you get stuck with a lousy connection at Clapham Junction or arrive when the service is less frequent. Then it might be much closer.

The comprehensive answer is: maybe. Do the math when you get to Gatwick.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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It all depends on what time of day (or night) you'll be arriving and how long you have to wait for a Thameslink train (the ones that go direct from Gatwick to King's Cross). They are faster and more convenient for north London than the Gatwick Express, but there can be anything from four to one an hour. Have a look at the website for further details:

http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk...t.aspx#Gatwick

My advice would be to turn up at the ticket office and just see which one is scheduled to leave first.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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No, Gatwick Express would be slower in all to Kings X and much more expensive.

Actually i was on a train arriving at Kings X when a guy from Dubai asked me how to get to Victoria as he had to get to a flight from Gatwick and he was going to take the tube to Victoria and Gatwick Express to Gatwick. But i said i though he'd be far better off, quicker and more reliably arrive at Gatwick as soon as possible by walking from Kings X to the nearby Thameslink station on Petonville Rd (?) and get the every few minute direct train to Gatwick from there. Some conductors and train staff overheard the conversation and one initially told him the Victoria-Gatwick Express route was better but the other three quickly supported my route when i mentioned it - they all ended in agreement that that was the best way. So you can go in reverse Thames Link to Kings X Thameslink station then walk the 2 minutes to Kings X to hop the twice hourly trains to Edinburgh. There is construction underway to make the Thameslink train go right to Kings X/St Pancras and should be finished soon (part of the huge redevelopment of the two adjoining mainline stations prepping for the arrival of Eurostar trains from Paris into kings X in 2007. Maybe the direct change at Kings X is finished but think not.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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I'd also check on the cost of a flight from Gatwick to Edinburgh, if possible adding it to your orginal ticket
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Thanks for your replies. I will have an unlimited Brit Rail Pass which I will have activated at Gatwick. I'll be spending three weeks in Edinburgh and taking day trips via the train while I'm there. Since I'll have the pass, it would add considerably to my budget if I were to go by plane to Edinburgh. However, it won't cost any more one way or the other to go by Gatwick Express or Thameslink.

I'll be arriving at Gatwick around 8:15 and I'll have nothing to declare so was hoping I'd be out of there with my luggage by 9:30. That may be a little too optimistic, because I do have to have the pass activated. There seems to be a train leaving Gatwick at 9:41 arriving Thameslink at 10:32.

Just how far is Thameslink from King's Cross? I'm an older woman with my luggage. Will they think I'm nuts if I get a taxi to take me to King's Cross?
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 01:15 PM
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It will cost more to get to Edinburgh via Gatwick Express because you will have to pay to get from Victoria to King's Cross.

Thameslink King's Cross is across Pentonville Road and a block east from King's Cross. See the map at

http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/Dow...s.pdf#page%3d2

I'd say if you can get your luggage from Reclaim at Gatwick to the train unassisted, you'll be all right schlepping it over to KX.
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Old Oct 9th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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Thanks so much Passepartout -- that's just what I needed to know. Yes, I have no problem getting my luggage from Reclaim to the train, and I can see from the map that I can easily get to King's Cross from the Thameslink station. Thanks again to everyone.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 08:20 AM
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getting from the Thameslink Kings X station to Kings Cross mainline station will be far easier than transferring to the tube at Victoria if you take the Gatwick Express - in that case i'd recommend going out front Victoria and getting a bus to Kings X - easier with luggage.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Not all morning Thameslink trains go the straight route from Gatwick to Kings Cross: several take a roundabout trip through suburban Surrey. Timetabled journey times can be over an hour, and the risk of delays is higher.

DO NOT TAKE THE FIRST TRAIN WITHOUT BEING SURE WHAT TIME IT'S SUPPOSED TO ARRIVE!!

And personally, I absolutely don't find the walk from the Thameslink platform at KX easier than the walk at Victoria.

Doing the trip in the reverse direction, I now always get the tube and the train from Victoria. That's after missing a plane (on a one-flight-a-day route!) after trusting the KX-Gatwick route during the morning rush hours.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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There are four trains an hour that go on the direct route from Gatwick to Kings X Thameslink - taking about 45 minutes - just be sure at Gatwick you look at the overhead sign to see that the train 'approaching on track x' has Kings X Thameslink on the sign board.

Not much of a problem i think.

You will not find any taxis at Kings X Thameslink as the main Kings X station is just one block away. You just need go up on stairs (lift probably available) and walk flat to the Kings X mainline station.

If you take Gatwick Express to Victoria you have a potentially long walk from where you descend from the train thru the oft mobbed Victoria station and then down steps or packed elevators to the tube, squeeze on a crowded tube train at what is probably London's most congested tube station, and then again back out. Thameslink transfer to me is much much easier and simple.

I will say however that Thameslink trains can inexplicably sit somewhere for several minutes and often run late.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 10:57 AM
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Note that Thameslink trains are now run by First Capital Connect - and generally KX is a stop on the way to exotic places like Bedford or Luton, so check the intermediate stops not just the terminus
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Old Oct 12th, 2006, 11:03 PM
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Where did I see the "Mystery Tour" comedy sketch where, after a long drive, several ladies found themselves in

"Luton! They've brought us to bloody Luton!"

"What'd y'expect for three and six? Paris France?"

I want to think it was Pythons, but I can't find any reference to it.
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Old Oct 12th, 2006, 11:55 PM
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Through the day First Capital Connect, formerly Thameslink, have four trains an hour, so they are a better choice than Southern trains or Gatwick Express via Victoria. With English money or a credit card, at Gatwick railway station you buy a ticket to Edinburgh via First Capital and Great Northern, and go to the top of the lift to your train. I am afraid there is no lift at the Thameslink station. Your best method is to step from the train to the platform, go to the downward stairs marked for the Underground, leave your bag and go down to be sure the escalator is working, take your bag to the escalator, go straight up to street level, show your ticket, walk through the glass door, look left for stored luggage trolleys, use a pound coin to release one, and look for the great station roof. The walk from Kings Cross Thameslink to Kings Cross main station is ten minutes. Wheel your bag in to the side door into the station, show your ticket, go to the far end of the train for standard class places, and board the train to Edinburgh. They leave each hour on the hour and take 4 hours 26 mijutes. Mostly they have a restaurant car: all have a buffet car.

Ben Haines, London
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 03:01 AM
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This is the only recorded example of bad advice from Ben Haines. But, being Ben, he does point to a serious problem.

<b> Do not, under any circumstances, even think of leaving a bag unattended at a London station or airport at any time </b>. Even for a few seconds, you will cause immense concern: leave it for more than a few seconds at Kings' Cross, the busiest and most interconnected tube station of all and the whole transport system may come to a halt.

You will also be on the receiving end of considerable abuse from Londoners, who can be uninhibitedly forthcoming about such anti-social thoughtlessness.

Ben's suggestion comes from the fact that Kings Cross Thameslink can be exceptionally unfriendly for people with luggage, and the pavement (sidewalk in some dialects) on the street between the Thameslink and mainline stations is very narrow and congested.

You're also getting some downright wrong advice about trains from Gatwick. The slow morning Thameslinks that meander round Surrey get no distinguising signalling at the Gatwick platform: they say &quot;Bedford&quot;, just like the more direct ones: you need to check the small print by downloading the .pdf timetable from the First Capital Connect site (you want the Brighton-Bedford services).

That's why I always get the Victoria Line tube and the train to/from Victoria.
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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&lt;You're also getting some downright wrong advice about trains from Gatwick. The slow morning Thameslinks that meander round Surrey get no distinguising signalling at the Gatwick platform: they say &quot;Bedford&quot;, just like the more direct ones: you need to check the small print by downloading the .pdf timetable from the First Capital Connect site (you want the Brighton-Bedford services).

That's why I always get the Victoria Line tube and the train to/from Victoria&gt;

This is the first recorded wrong advice from flanneruk - there is no problem finding the 4 times an hour Thameslink now Capitol One trains at Gatwick and the transfer to Kings X at Kings X Thameslink Station, presumably now called Kings X Capitol 1 Station, involves less walking than transferring at Victoria to the often severely crowded tube platforms there - seriously overcrowded many times and you may have to wait for a few trains to squeeze on.

As the train personnel at Kings X agreed with me as explained in an above post - they said certainly the Thameslink route was the best way to go and quite a bit cheaper as well.
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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And if perplexed as to which trains meander around Surrey or those that go direct to Kings X, just ask train staff standing by the train - seems simple enough to me. And the overhead signs trackside surely indicate which trains are meandering around Surrey - i've taken these trains many times and never never had any problem getting on the right one.
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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OK, I am really confused now! Neither time (I don't have to catch a particular train) nor money is a real factor here. I'm trying to find the easiest route for a 69 year old woman traveling solo with her luggage. I'm in pretty good shape for my age -- I walk 2-3 miles a day and work out with barbells 3 times a week, but I am still 69. That may be TMI, but knowing all of that, what do you recommend?
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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I suggest you ask the Gatwick train information at the airport train station when you arrive for their advice.
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 07:41 AM
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For me the walk to Thames link is reasonable. I guess a five minute walk tops. Then down two flights of stairs. The barrier is always manned and if your luggage is big they will open a path for you. While the local area is generally a bit down at heel most people are sensible and know people are trying to travel somewhere. Hence as there is no lift just smile sweetly at a large man and ask if they will help. Going down there is no where to run to and most Brits will welcome the chance to help a older citizen down the stairs.

If you regularly walk 2 to 3 miles you will wonder what the fuss is about
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