Rail Minister Claire Perry has welcomed the successful completion of platform works at London Bridge station, describing it as a “major milestone” in the Government’s £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme, which is set to transform rail travel for passengers across London.
Two new platforms were opened at London Bridge this morning (1 September 2014) following a 9 day part-closure of the station. More than 1,200 engineers worked around the clock to complete the platforms, lay new track and install a state-of-the-art signalling system, while train operators supported the works by running amended timetables and alternative services. The Rail Minister visited the station last week to see how work was progressing.
When complete in 2018, the Thameslink Programme will give passengers more choice and convenience when travelling through London and the south east. New, spacious trains will run every 2 to 3 minutes through central London during the peak, while new track and signalling improvements will provide more reliable journeys. Connections to more destinations, including Cambridge and Peterborough, will also be improved, and there will be a direct interchange with Crossrail at Farringdon.
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
As part of our long-term economic plan, we are currently undertaking the biggest programme of rail modernisation since Victorian times, with more than £38 billion being invested in the network over the next 5 years. The Thameslink Programme is a key part of that.
Last week I visited London Bridge and saw for myself how hard everyone in the Thameslink family has worked to reach this major milestone. Once all the work is finished, Thameslink will transform travel across London and the south east for hundreds of thousands of passengers who travel into the capital every day.
London Bridge station is currently being rebuilt as part of the Thameslink Programme, providing more space and new facilities for passengers. Work completed so far includes rebuilding a triple-track Victorian railway bridge, demolishing and rebuilding platforms so they can accommodate longer trains, and installing a new junction to the north of St Pancras International.
From late December, another part-closure at London Bridge will be needed to bring 2 more platforms into service. In January 2015, Network Rail will begin to rebuild of the second half of the station, with longer-term service changes being put in place. Passengers are urged to check before they travel and to register for updates.
Time lapse video of Thameslink works at London Bridge