Gatwick Express launches limited edition ‘ruby’ waistcoats to celebrate 40th anniversary

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
This week the Gatwick Express celebrates 40 years of service having opened to the public on 14 May 1984.

Carrying more than 30 million customers every year, the iconic red trains have been helping people jet off from London and the South East for four decades, providing a quick, direct, and sustainable route to Gatwick Airport, which last year saw the completion of a £249m upgrade of its train station.

For many, travelling on the Gatwick Express signifies the start of holiday; and with Gatwick Airport being the most used train station in the South East¹, there will be plenty of people who want to commemorate this milestone.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

To mark 40 years of service and celebrate the Gatwick Express uniform, 40 limited-edition waistcoats have been created and are being given away for FREE. Adorned with the vibrant red chequered pattern of the Gatwick Express, the waistcoats are perfectly in-keeping with the brand’s ruby red anniversary and are a perfect piece of railway memorabilia. All fans need to do for a chance of bagging their own piece of Gatwick Express merchandise is head to the brand’s Instagram page to enter the competition*.

Mark Thake, Onboard Supervisor, Gatwick ExpressMark Thake, Onboard Supervisor, Gatwick Express
Mark Thake, Onboard Supervisor, Gatwick Express

Sophie Hill, Head of Gatwick Express, said: “My team and I recognise that for some of our customers, getting the Gatwick Express can be the start of a journey where they create lifetime memories on holiday, so the experience of travelling with us holds more of an emotional connection than simply travelling from A to B. We wanted to celebrate our 40th anniversary by offering something unique and collectable for our customers and followers. We have lots of Gatwick Express superfans out there, who will be hoping to get their hands on their very own waistcoat so be quick if you want to be in with a chance of winning!”

Hannah Godfrey, Senior Surface Access Manager, London Gatwick said: “Gatwick Express plays a vital part in London Gatwick’s fantastic connectivity, with passengers able to travel into central London from the South Terminal in just 30 minutes non-stop. The service means many passengers can go from their plane to the heart of the capital in as little as an hour, and be on the doorstep of iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Hyde Park. We are delighted Gatwick Express continues to offer such a brilliant service after 40 years and we look forward to continuing to work with the Gatwick Express team to enhance the service for the future.”

Colleagues at Gatwick Express are also celebrating Gatwick Express’ huge milestone. Mark Thake, 62, is somewhat of a rail veteran, having worked in rail for 46 years. He’s tried his hand at various roles and, for the last seven years, has worked for Gatwick Express as an On Board Supervisor. Read his story here.

Additional case study:

  • After nearly 30 years of work for Gatwick Express, Beverley Gordon is one of the longest-serving employees at the rail operator. Read her story here.

Gatwick Express fun facts:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
  • Gatwick was the first airport in the world to have a direct rail connection.

  • Gatwick Airport train station first opened in June 1958, a service that provided travel between London and Brighton.

  • With growing popularity and passengers, the Gatwick Express service was launched in May 1984, a 30-minute non-stop service between London and Gatwick Airport.

  • By 2019, 21 million passengers were using Gatwick Airport station each year, an increase of 7 million from 2010.

  • Bringing economic prosperity to the South East of England, the network now operates an express commuter and airport transfer service for its travellers journeying between London Victoria, Gatwick Airport, and Brighton.

  • Furthermore, continued recovery in international travel saw Gatwick Airport return to the most used station in the South East, as it was in the years prior to the pandemic¹.

  • In November 2023, a bigger and better train station opened to customers at Gatwick Airport, with a new second concourse and airport entrance – doubling space for the millions of people travelling between the airport and train station.

*To be in with a chance of winning a limited-edition waistcoat, head to the Gatwick Express Instagram page, answer the question on the associated post and comment with a red or black heart emoji depending on required size. The giveaway will be live for one week only.

¹Office of Rail and Road, Estimates of station usage, April 2022 to March 2023

Notes to Editors

For more information and high-res materials, please contact the press office at [email protected]

About Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern, and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham (Kent); plus services between London and Sevenoaks

  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn

  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)

  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria