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Last week, during bad weather, my planned Thameslink train was canceled. Luckily, there were staff on hand at the station to offer advice, and I was directed to a local bus service a short walk away to continue my journey by an alternate route.

Whilst on that bus, I overhead a few other disrupted rail passengers talking. One of them mentioned having looked up this alternate route on a map online, which was news to me, and might've saved some walking / would've saved me a lot of problems had the station been un-manned!

In case of future reference, are these alternate route maps generally available online? And if so, where?

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Apparently, these maps are always available online, but are hard to find except when someone toggles the "disruption" flag on the website, which doesn't always happen quite as quickly as you might like...

For Thameslink routes, the list of stations and their associated alternatives are here on the Thameslink site. For the semi-linked Great Northern routes, they're here.

These maps include alternate rail routes, alternate bus routes, and instructions on how to get to where you've going via those alternates. For example, for Luton Airport Parkway (for those going to/from the airport), the map looks like this:

Luton disruptions map from Thameslink

And includes instructions on what buses to take to get to Bedford, what bus to get to alternate trains to London, and details on how to find the stops for those buses

  • This map is a bit so-so: National Express has a bunch of buses from Luton to Milton Keynes which is missing from the map (although I guess the coachway and the train station not being at the same place might be the reason? but it's not that far). I remember 777 off head -- is National Express deliberately naming their airport buses after Boeing planes? The 747 goes from Heathrow to Brighton... or National Express is not used for this map? Curious. – chx Mar 3 '17 at 2:02
  • @chx I wonder if the issue is that National Express don't have a pre-agreed policy to accept train tickets during disruptions? – Gagravarr Mar 3 '17 at 9:45

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