Since January 2018 passengers have benefitted from new platforms for more trains, a huge new concourse and better connections at Britain’s fourth busiest station.
As well as the redevelopment of the station itself, work at London Bridge has included creating new railway infrastructure to the east and west of the station. The newly-created transport hub can accommodate 90 million passengers per year while offering more and faster connections for passengers.
- New entrances on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street, better connecting the station to surrounding areas
- A new concourse, bigger than the pitch at Wembley Stadium, unifying the station for the first time so that all platforms can be accessed from a central point
- Better journey options to more destinations, including a future connection to Crossrail services at Farringdon, providing links across and beyond London in all directions.
- Fewer delays, after the tracks on approaches to the station were untangled
- Step free access to every platform, following installation of new lifts and escalators
- New shops, cafes and other retail units opening throughout 2018
An exciting destination
The redevelopment of London Bridge station is also ensuring that it becomes a destination in its own right and a real asset to the surrounding area. Britain’s fourth busiest station will become a place for people to meet, eat, shop and socialise, as well as travel, while opening up the South Bank for business and communities to thrive.
Network Rail is introducing 92,000 sq ft of new retail and more than 70 retail units – the most ever in a Network Rail station. These new units will offer a fantastic mix of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy. They include big brands and a number of small independent retailers. All of the retailers at London Bridge station are listed in Network Rail’s retail directory
Official opening ceremony
London Bridge station was officially reopened by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge on 9 May 2018. His Royal Highness unveiled a ceremonial ‘sleeper’ to mark the completion of the improved station after arriving on a new Siemens Class 700 Thameslink train alongside Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP and Mark Carne, Chief Executive of Network Rail. A week of opening celebrations also included a treasure hunt for local school children, public film screenings and live music in the station.
Historic London Bridge
London Bridge is the capital’s oldest railway station and has undergone many changes in its complex history. The first London Bridge station was opened at Tooley Street in 1836 by the London & Greenwich Railway, along with its line as far as Deptford. By 1839 it had become two stations in one, with the London & Croydon Railway opening its own station building.
Passenger numbers continued to increase as new lines were developed, taking the railway further into the City and the west end. In 1923 Southern Railway took control of the two stations, opening out a dividing wall and building a footbridge between the two. But the layout was still confusing and congested for passengers. In 1940 the station was damaged during a bombing raid. The damage and repairs did little to help situation.
By the late 1960s London Bridge had once again reached capacity. British Rail undertook a major redevelopment of the station, installing a new frontage, signalling and concourse which opened in 1978. Little changed at the station in the following years until the Government sponsored Thameslink Programme transformed the station with a five-year £1bn redevelopment, completed in 2018, to help meet the infrastructure demands of the future.
Transforming London Bridge
The rebuild project began in 2013 and was completed in phases to allow the station to remain open throughout construction. On approaches to the station the track has been reconfigured to create nine ‘through’ platforms and six terminating platforms. This means fewer trains are delayed outside the station waiting for a platform to clear, and more can carry on across London.
Five years in 60 seconds!
Keeping London Bridge moving
Work at the station on the Upper Concourse, Stainer Street and in preparation for more shops, cafes and retail units, continues during 2018. Works will take place on evenings and at weekends to minimise disruption.
Timeline of a £1bn transformation
- Summer 2011 – Planning application submitted
- Autumn 2011 – Planning permission granted by London Borough of Southwark
- Winter 2011 – Major construction on bus station underway
- Summer 2012 – New station concourse (part of The Shard development) and new bus station completed
- Winter 2012 – Preparation work on the station started
- Spring 2013 – Complete redevelopment of London Bridge station started
- Spring 2014 – First new platform opened
- January 2015 – August 2016 – Charing Cross services are not stopping at London Bridge
- January 2015 – 2018 – Cross -London Thameslink trains are not stopping at London Bridge
- August 2016 – January 2018 – Cannon Street services will not stop at London Bridge
- Winter 2017 – Bermondsey Dive Under completed, untangling the tracks surrounding London Bridge
- January 2018 – Cannon Street trains return to London Bridge, new concourse open, new entrance at Tooley Street open
- Spring 2018 – New shops and cafes opening throughout 2018
- May 2018 – Thameslink trains and services between London Bridge and Blackfriars return.
The Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme is transforming north-south travel through London. Find out more about how the Thameslink Programme is creating new railway infrastructure and stations, leading the way in adopting new digital technology and providing new trains.