We’ve already delivered longer, 12-car trains between Brighton and Bedford, platform lengthening at several stations, track work and upgraded stations including West Hampstead, Farringdon and Blackfriars. The most complex part of the programme is now underway; this includes rebuilding London Bridge station, and laying new track and signalling equipment around the station to create a spacious and better connected transport hub.
This programme will help us meet a massive rise in demand, increasing the number of Thameslink route services through central London to one every 2-3 minutes in the peak.
It will improve connections, giving passengers better travel options to more destinations by linking some services, e.g. from Cambridge and parts of the East Coast Mainline, into the Thameslink network. This will help relieve congestion on London Underground – particularly the Northern line.
We are untangling the tracks on the approach to London Bridge station, which will reduce delays caused by trains crossing pathways and waiting outside the station for platforms to clear.
It’s part of our bigger plan to improve rail travel across London, the South East and Britain.
The construction work is going well and we remain on schedule.
All terminating platforms are now open at London Bridge. During the second 2015 May bank holiday we moved some of the tracks to Charing Cross to allow us to demolish platforms 5 & 6 at the station.
We are making final preparations to lay the track on the new Borough viaduct, which will allow more trains to run through the high level part of the station. We are on track to start running trains over this new viaduct during our Christmas work.
Our work at Bermondsey dive under, which will be key to untangling the tracks on the eastern approach to London Bridge station, continues. This structure will allow the Thameslink lines to cross the Kent lines unimpeded on their approach to London Bridge station.
Work at Canal Tunnels, the new link between the Thameslink Core and the East Coast Mainline to the north of St Pancras International, is almost complete. The signalling systems were recently commissioned with just some final electrification work to be completed.
We are also undertaking extensive track and signalling work across the route that will help improve reliability for passengers. In March 2015 we successfully moved the signalling operation for the core section between St Pancras International and Blackfriars to the new Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre. This will support the future upgrade of the signalling system, which will increase the number of services operating in each direction between St Pancras International and Blackfriars stations from 16 to 24 trains per hour from December 2018.
We have also built new stabling facilities at a number of locations across the route. These are where the new Thameslink trains will be kept, cleaned and maintained. Brighton and Selhurst sidings are complete, Cricklewood comes into operation at the end of June and we are currently on site at Horsham and Peterborough. We will also be building new sidings at Bedford.
We’re building a bigger and better London Bridge station for the 56 million passengers who use it each year, with new platforms for more trains and a huge new concourse. Bigger than the pitch at Wembley, the new concourse will unify the station for the first time so that you can access all platforms from one place.
We are also untangling the track outside the station, which will reduce delays from train crossing pathways and waiting outside the station for platforms to clear.
We’re rebuilding the station in phases, keeping the station working during construction, however, this does mean a rolling programme of service and station changes up to 2018.
The work at London Bridge will impact different train services at different times.
As we work on individual platforms at London Bridge station, we will also work on track and signalling several miles outside the station. This has an impact on train services, which will be diverted away from the station as we undertake this vital work.
As the redevelopment of the station continues, the services of all three train operators at London Bridge station – Thameslink, Southeastern and Southern – will be affected at different times.
We’ve scheduled our work at times when passenger numbers are traditionally lower than normal, for example bank holidays. We know service changes are inconvenient, but we’re doing our best to minimise disruption to you, by telling you about service changes in advance and providing you with details of alternative travel options.
The Thameslink Programme work is broken down into different stages to minimise disruption to passengers as much as possible.
Work is taking place most weekends and bank holidays across the route, but some sections of the work require additional days work due to the complexity and scale of the work.
Your train will stop at an alternative central London station. There are several alternative travel options available to passengers depending on their final destination. This includes walking, Overground, Tube and buses.
Information about changes to services from January 2015, including alternative journey options, is available. We will share information about the options available during changes to Cannon Street services from August 2016 closer to the time.
The rail industry is making plans to help you get around during these disruptions. We’re also working out how these specific changes could affect your ticketing options, with the objective that you shouldn’t be out of pocket while we’re doing this crucial work. Advice about your ticket during work from January 2015 is available on our travel advice page.
We’re committed to ensuring business continuity in London and beyond during the Thameslink Programme. We will provide comprehensive and timely information and advice about major planned periods of disruption to affected businesses and their staff.
We will be contacting businesses who are likely to be most affected by the Thameslink Programme to explain the impacts to staff and deliveries and to provide support. Resources will also be available to enable businesses that want to plan to do so, enabling staff to plan their journeys.
There is nothing planned by London Underground in the short term. We are working closely with London Underground to make sure signage and passenger flows are monitored and managed.
The high level (Southeastern) part of the station will increase from 6 to 9 platforms. The low level (Southern) terminating platforms will reduce from 9 to 6 platforms. All but platform 15 (which will be 10 carriage) will be capable of accommodating 12 carriage trains. The design allows for platform 15 to be extended to 12 carriages in future, if the signal box at the end of this platform is moved.
Train services will continue into London Bridge throughout the works. Guy’s Hospital will be signposted from each platform and staff will be available to help you as they are currently. Information about assistance for mobility impaired passengers, affected by train disruptions will be made available when the timetables have been finalised.
Traffic management plans have been produced for all stages of the project. The main construction traffic will be found in St Thomas Street, which will be closed during most of the construction. In addition, freight trains will be used to transport materials to and from the station.
The project teams aim to mitigate noise and vibration as much as possible. We work closely with the London Borough of Southwark environmental health officer (EHO) and works are agreed in a Section 61 consent.
The section 61 consent means that the works have prior approval, following detailed discussions, and are subject to strict conditions. The project must satisfy London Borough of Southwark that any potentially disruptive works can be justified. Conditions include the implementation of best practicable means (BPM) for controlling noise, monitoring arrangements, requirements for keeping neighbours informed, and action to be taken if predicted noise levels are exceeded. Regular site meetings with the EHO take place throughout the project to ensure everything is being done to minimise disruption and .complaints.
Network Rail has a National Helpline number (03457 11 41 41) which should be used for all complaints and enquiries. Any complaints and enquiries that the Helpline receives about the London Bridge project, that can’t be answered by the Helpline advisor, will be directed to the project team within 24 hours. If received out of hours and the Helpline believe that it is a matter that can’t wait until the next working day, it will be directed to the project duty manager’s phone, and dealt with by the site management team. The project community relations manager will then follow-up as appropriate the next working day. All complaints and enquiries are logged by the National Helpline, and by the project team, to ensure that matters are responded to quickly, and so that we can understand the types of issues that we are causing.
New state of the art 8 and 12 car carriage trains will enter service between 2016 and 2018. Find out more about our new trains.
The Thameslink route is a railway route running north-south through London between Bedford and Brighton, serving both Gatwick and Luton airports. It also incorporates a suburban loop serving Sutton and Wimbledon.
This map shows routes that could benefit from the upgraded Thameslink London core. The Department for Transport awarded the Thameslink Southern and Great Northern Franchise (TSGN) to Govia Thameslink Railway Limited. See an interactive map of the TSGN network.