The redevelopment of London Bridge station and the surrounding railway ¬– part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme – moved a step closer to completion this weekend after a successful eight days of engineering work to the railway in central London completed on-time.
From Saturday 26 August to Saturday 2 September, more than 4,500 engineers worked a total of over 92,000 hours to deliver on time a £12 million programme of investment by Network Rail. This was one of the most challenging and complicated phases of major engineering work the Thameslink Programme team has delivered to date.
Network Rail and Southeastern would like to thank the tens of thousands of passengers from across the south east who made changes to their journeys while London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross – some of the capital’s busiest stations – were closed and trains diverted to other London stations.
New track and signalling equipment was installed on the lines serving Cannon Street. At the same time the Charing Cross lines through London Bridge were moved into their final alignment through platforms 6 to 9 and connected to the newly constructed Bermondsey Dive Under, which will mean more reliable journeys for Southeastern passengers from 2018 by providing dedicated tracks for trains serving south east London and Kent.
At London Bridge station there was a hive of activity including installation of lighting, ticket gate-lines and flooring in the final section of the new concourse, which will open in January 2018.
With the engineering upgrade completed on time, Southeastern trains are able to run into London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo East once again and passengers are able to use the newly re-opened platform 6 at London Bridge, which will allow more Charing Cross trains to stop at this station.
Simon Blanchflower, Thameslink Programme director, Network Rail said: “I would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding over the past week while our engineers continued to rebuild London Bridge station and brought new sections of the railway into use between New Cross and Charing Cross. Over the past eight months, we have worked hard to make passengers aware of the planned closures and to provide travel advice so they could make informed choices about their journeys – it’s clear that passengers listened to our advice and I’d like to thank them again for their help in allowing us to deliver this vital phase of our upgrades.
“This work was part of the Thameslink Programme, a crucial piece of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, which will provide passengers with more reliable journeys, increased capacity and access to a wider range of destinations from 2018.”
Ellie Burrows, train services director, Southeastern said: “We would like to thank our passengers for changing their journey plans during the last week’s station closures. We know that the works inconvenienced many people by making their journeys longer than normal. We want to reassure them that the Thameslink Programme will bring real benefits from next year. We are already planning the next programme of closures and timetable changes due in December and will, of course, keep passengers closely informed well in advance through our website and other channels.”
This was the penultimate major piece of engineering work at London Bridge, ahead of the upcoming Christmas and New Year period, after which the final section of the huge, modern concourse and platforms 1 – 5 will open for passenger use. The redevelopment of London Bridge station and the surrounding railway is the cornerstone of the Thameslink Programme, an ambitious programme of enhancements that combines new trains, new track, new signalling, an expanded infrastructure and station improvements that will transform journeys for passengers with greater reliability and more journey options north and south of the Thames to meet the capacity demands of the future.