HART - Engineering, timetables and fares
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HART - Engineering, timetables and fares

In this edition:
  • No trains at Kings Cross 5-6 Sept and other engineering
  • Timetable changes from Mon 7 Sept
  • Ticketing - what's the best option?
  • Other news - Emergency Measure Agreements and passenger confidence
  • Other issues

No trains at Kings Cross 5-6 Sept and other engineering

The next big closure for the Kings Cross project is this weekend 5-6 Sept. It does not have as big an impact as some previous ones, since our Moorgate trains are mainly still due to run and our fast trains will go as far as Finsbury Park. There will be some trains going on south from Finsbury Park via St Pancras and tickets will be accepted on London Underground between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross St Pancras.

The approximate pattern for faster services is as follows, with the top 2 bullets being services that stop at Hatfield:
  • 1tph Cambridge – Finsbury Park [stopping service]
  • 1tph Royston – Finsbury Park [stopping service] (Saturday only)
  • 2tph Cambridge – Brighton (1tph on Sunday)
  • 2tph Peterborough – Horsham (1tph on Sunday to Finsbury Park)
  • 1tph King’s Lynn – Finsbury Park [non-stop between Cambridge and London]
  • 1tph Ely – Finsbury Park [non-stop between Cambridge and London] (Saturday Only)
Although this is the general plan, we recommend checking on journey planners in advance and shortly before travelling (as indeed we would in respect of any train journey at present). Also the termination of trains at Finsbury Park may cause some congestion and delays.

For more information see:

Generally there is a lot of engineering work going on currently across the network at evenings and weekends - in the longer run this will bring benefits, but in the meantime do check. We would advise always looking at the engineering info initially, as currently changes to journey planners are sometimes done quite late and bus replacements added in even later.

If something doesn't look right between the engineering info and the planners, it is worth querying it with GN/TL, via Twitter or another route, since there have been a few recent issues with late / missing info - not surprising, with the volume of changes they are having to plan, but annoying if people get caught out!

There will be further significant closures relating to the Kings Cross project through the next year - we are awaiting detailed news regarding the next batch.
Timetable changes from Mon 7 Sept

From Mon 7 September there are minor changes to the local timetable - the weekday running pattern is largely unchanged and is still on the basis of "Saturday plus".

However there are quite a lot of small timing amendments at Hatfield and it may be that some calling patterns have changed too - so we recommend checking your journeys ahead of time.

Weekends seem also to be much the same as now.

The current and new timetables are available at:

With schools restarting and more offices opening, some trains may become busier - as mentioned last time, those trains which tend to be more heavily loaded, will be flagged on journey planners.

The next significant change is scheduled for December and we are in discussion with GN/TL about what that will mean for Hatfield. as yet there is no news about the WGC / Kings Cross peak semi-fast services, but we are hoping they will return - to provide extra capacity and reduce the congestion at Finsbury Park from passengers needing to change trains.
Ticketing - what's the best option?

Best price versus least contact

As mentioned in previous newsletters, there are few easy answers when it comes to deciding the best ticketing option - particularly for those who used to have a season ticket, but might now be travelling to the workplace less frequently.

The Department for Transport effectively makes the major decisions regarding ticketing structure. They have asked rail companies to put in proposals to better help part-time commuters and will be considering the proposals. We suspect it may be end 2020 / early 2021 before we see much change. Also, as yet there is no confirmation, as to whether the normal January fare increase will happen in 2021.

Optimal current choices depend on your destination and when you travel. The position is complex and we can only give an overview here - we encourage you to check prices for your journey on the GN/TL and TfL websites.

Season ticket

Even if you aren't travelling 5 days a week, a season ticket still might be your best option:

Annual: gives Gold Card benefits, which can be valuable:

However, as many passengers discovered, refunds are not pro-rata - and the one-off ability to backdate refunds is being withdrawn wef Mon 7 Sept (NB other temporary refund concessions are also ceasing then:

Weekly: can span 2 weeks eg Thur, Mon, Wed (giving the weekend as well) - can mix and match with daily options.

Odd period: can be bought for any period between a month and a year.

Season tickets can now be bought online and instantly downloaded to your Key through use of the GN/TL App on a phone with NFC capability - for more info see: NB some users are experiencing issues with the App, following the latest version release - if that happens to you, then do report it, as it helps GN/TL understand the scale of the problem.

Day tickets

Prices for London Terminals - to allow comparison with other options:
Anytime Day Return: £18.00
Off-peak Day Return: £13.50 (am restrictions)
Super Off-peak Day Return: £13.10 (am/pm restrictions)

Anytime and Off-peak tickets can be purchased at Hatfield ticket machines for The Key - but not weekday / weekend Super Off-peak ones.


Available currently only to London Terminals and as paper tickets for single journeys in batches of 5 or 10 (same price per ticket for either option). Equates to a 10% discount over standard Anytime / Off Peak prices - cost per ticket:

Peak HAT to London Terminals: £8.10
Off-Peak HAT to London Terminals*: £6.00
Off-Peak London Terminals to HAT**: £6.00

* Not valid on trains timed to depart after 04:29 which arrive at, or depart from; any London Terminal, Farringdon, or Kensington Olympia before 10:00.
** Not valid on trains timed to depart after 04:29 and before 09:30 (ie ok for use in the evening peak)

NB You cannot break and resume your journey

Carnets can currently be purchased on the GN/TL websites (need to allow time for posting to you) or from the ticket office. You need to remember to write the current date on each ticket before travelling and you may need to show them to staff at barriers.

We are expecting carnets to move to The Key at some point and hope that they will also become available for other journeys (eg to London Thameslink stations) and for passengers using stations that don't yet have them (eg Welham Green and Brookmans Park).

TfL Contactless

Now that Hatfield has daily and weekly capping, you won't pay more than the cost of a Travelcard - Anytime or Off-peak. This means it can be best for those doing more complex journeys into London. It can often give the best option for single journeys

Peak hours are based on when you touch in (rather than what train you get), and are different to those for traditional tickets, which has both downsides (evening peak) and upsides (early morning). For London Terminals, a good option for early morning commuters might be TfL Contactless am / carnets pm.

Single journey prices / times are:
Other prices may apply, eg if you avoid zone 1. For details of single fare prices, see: and for caps see:

Railcard discounts are not available.


This is fully contactless and can be used on much of the GN/TL/Southern network, but not on TfL services. Once added to your Key, it operates in a similar way to TfL Contactless, in that your journeys are evaluated at the end of each day and you are changed the equivalent of the best value ticket.

The technology has just been upgraded and now allows partnering with a Railcard, so you can get fare discounts, where applicable.

These can be used in conjunction with day tickets as well as with keyGo, and may be worth considering if you will be using staggered arrival / departure times at work or you work a variety of shifts - or just for leisure travel.

They cannot be used in conjunction with season tickets (except for the 16-17 saver) nor with carnets.

There are a range of options, depending on age, area of travel etc - see for details of these, plus information regarding when they can/can't be used, fare discounts, minimum fares and other associated offers.

Most cost £30 a year (some have 3 year deals).

If you have Tesco Clubcard points, currently you can exchange £10 worth of vouchers for certain of the Railcards - see the Tesco website for details. A quick look on Google suggests there are also offers available via other routes.
Other news

Emergency Measure Agreements

The government has yet to announce what will happen locally, when these run out during September. The immediate impact of whatever replaces them, might be small or could be very significant both for current and future passengers and also for taxpayers.

The difficulties in forecasting future passenger flows must be giving many in the DfT, HM Treasury and the rail industry sleepless nights, as they try to work out a sustainable basis for future rail operations.
Passenger confidence

Research from Transport Focus shows that people who have travelled by train / bus recently, feel more confident about taking future journeys, than those who haven't done so. For details see:

The RSSB, which is responsible for the rail industry's safety strategy has been working on research to examine safety aspects of rail travel.  Their latest info indicates that passengers can be a lot more confident about travelling by train safely – with the risk of Covid-19 infection being less than 0.01% on an average journey:

Other issues

We will provide updates on some other issues within the next few weeks, but wanted to get this out today, so that you were aware of the engineering this weekend and timetable changes from Monday.

We continue to work on a wide range of other topics - impacting trains, the station and information provision.

In the meantime, if you have an issue where you think we can assist, please let us know - by email or via Twitter.

Spread the Word

Please let other station users know of our existence and encourage them to join our mailing list and/or follow us on Twitter. We update the Twitter feed on our website with news items etc in between newsletters.

Do let us have details of any other issues and concerns and we will assist in raising them in an appropriate forum.

Help please! - in order to maximise our impact in matters effecting you, we need further volunteers - even a small amount of time would help e.g. info stands at the station, contributing to these newsletters, updating info on our website etc. You can contact us on

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