The government sponsored Thameslink Programme is transforming north-south travel through London to meet the huge rise in demand from passengers.
The Thameslink Programme is:
- Improving rail connections across London and the south east
- Making journeys more reliable
- Creating new railway infrastructure
- Delivering bigger, better stations
- Providing 115 new spacious, modern trains.
The Thameslink Programme has laid the foundations for the biggest transformation in train services that the south east has seen in decades. From May 2018, a new high frequency timetable takes advantage of the new infrastructure to provide space for more passengers, new journey options and better connections.
Improved rail connections
More stations outside London will be connected to the Thameslink route, giving passengers better travel options to more destinations. There will be a brand new rail hub at Farringdon connecting Thameslink and Crossrail, offering direct links to three major airports (Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton) and St Pancras International. This will help relieve congestion in places like the central sections of the Northern Line.
More reliable journeys
New track and modern trains will provide more reliable journeys. Trains will run every 2-3 minutes in each direction through central London at the busiest times. The Thameslink Programme has also untangled the track on the approaches to London Bridge station, to cut delays and reduce the time trains wait for platforms to clear.
The Thameslink Programme completed improvement work at Blackfriars and Farringdon while many other stations are now more spacious, accessible and modern. The new bigger, better London Bridge station is has now reopened. It provides the 54 million passengers who use the station each year with benefits including more space, easier connections to other rail services and the underground, plus a wider range of shops and station facilities.
Passengers have already benefitted from longer platforms at many stations on routes from London to Bedford, enabling new, longer, 12 car Thameslink trains to call at these stations. West Hampstead Thameslink station has also benefitted from a new station building and a new entrance, providing easier interchange. A new footbridge and lifts to all platforms now also provide step-free access.
Over Christmas 2018 the Thameslink gateline at St Pancras was extended, with eight additional gates added, to improve customer flow. All new gates have been fitted with Smartcard readers. This included a wide gate positioned close to the lift to improve access for those with disabilities, buggies, luggage. A display screen has also been installed showing departures from adjacent Kings Cross. The next phase will include erecting a new customer information desk.
Platform accessibility humps have been installed at all central London Thameslink stations, ensuring passengers with reduced mobility have step-free access for the first time.
The Thameslink Programme has delivered new infrastructure, including track and signalling on one of the busiest parts of the network, while keeping it open for passengers. As well as the redevelopment of London Bridge station itself, work included track remodelling and re-signalling all lines east and west of the station.
Borough Viaduct was built in 2011 and has been used by Southeastern services since 2016. The Bermondsey Dive Under, a new flyover junction, was completed in 2017. As a result, Thameslink, Southeastern and Southern trains all now have dedicated approaches to London Bridge station – reducing congestion.
The Thameslink Programme is leading the way in introducing new digital railway technology that makes trains run more safely and reliably. Investment in self-drive trains and new traffic management systems are helping to make more space for passengers and to run services more regularly on existing tracks.
Finally, a fleet of 115 new trains are longer, more spacious and more energy-efficient. Passengers benefit from extra luggage space, improved accessibility, air conditioning and live travel information.