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Thameslink is a brand of Govia Thameslink Railway. It runs trains across the South of England and allows you to cross London without using the tube.

Thameslink operates trains across the South of England and links areas to the north of London with the South Coast and beyond. They connect the north and south sides of the Thames by using the Snow Hill Tunnel, hence the name. Did you know that Thameslink also runs 24 hours a day between Bedford and Brighton?

Your best bet for cheap Thameslink train fares is during a weekend or on a Bank Holiday. During these times, you’ll find some special ‘Super Off-Peak‘ fares. Here are some examples of day return tickets:

    • Peterborough to London – £23.30
    • Brighton to London – £14.50
    • Luton to Brighton – £23.30

Thameslink also offer some ‘Advance‘ tickets on longer journeys, if you’re happy to stick to a specific train. For example, a single from Bedford to Brighton starts at £19.80. However, as a day return on a weekend is £25.80, your best bet is using these fares on weekdays, or if you just need to make a one-way trip.

As we found in our review of the best train to Gatwick Airport, they’re also the best and cheapest option if you’re off on holiday.

On board services


Free WiFi is available on all Thameslink services.


There’s no need to make a reservation to travel on Thameslink trains with a non-folding bike. However, you can’t bring them on trains in the peak travel direction to/from London (mornings towards London and evenings away from it). There’s more information in our dedicated guide to travelling with bikes.


Up to two dogs, cats or other small domestic animals can travel free in both Standard and 1st Class.

Special Assistance

You can find out more about Passenger Assist on our dedicated page.

Standard Class

The entire Thameslink fleet is made up of the same type of train. Their Desiro City trains have either eight or 12 carriages, and they’re completely walk-through. This means that you can go from one end to the other without needing to pass through any doors or corridors.

All seating is in a 2+2 formation. In Standard Class, you won’t find any tables or power sockets.

Can I upgrade to First Class?

First Class on Thameslink will bag you a table and a power socket. Should you pay for it? No! There’s no need to. The rear First Class compartment is always available to Standard Class ticket-holders. Simply take a seat in there at no extra cost.

On the Luton to Rainham, Blackfriars to Sevenoaks and St Albans to Sutton routes, both compartments are free for Standard Class ticket-holders to use. Make sure you check the displays on the platform.

Information about routes

  • Cambridge to Brighton
  • Bedford to Brighton
  • Peterborough to Horsham
  • Bedford to Three Bridges
  • Luton to Rainham
  • St Albans City to Sutton (via the Sutton Loop)
  • London Blackfriars to Sevenoaks via Bat and Ball.

Fun Facts

Let the train take the strain! Did you know that most trains between London St Pancras and London Blackfriars operate automatically? The driver keeps an eye on things and closes the doors safely, but a computer does the driving.