Better Stations

Better, modern and accessible stations

Blackfriars and London Bridge have been completely rebuilt to become better, modern, accessible stations. These new stations will be able to handle more trains through central London and address passenger capacity needs for a generation and beyond.

Thameslink Programme has also extended platforms on the Midland Mainline to enable longer, 12–car trains to call and major changes were also made at Farringdon where, with the opening of the Elizabeth line, a new transport hub will connect north, south, east and west.

In this interview, Laurence Whitbourn, Regional Director for Network Rail outlines the Thameslink Programme’s complex challenges and the outcomes achieved.

London Bridge

London Bridge, the UK’s fourth busiest station, underwent a total transformation to become a station fit for the 21st century – a world class iconic station blending fully into the redeveloped London Bridge quarter. While the old station was about getting people to the edge of the city to continue their journeys, the new station is supporting the development of London Bridge as a destination in itself. The new station has been designed with more space and easier connections to other rail and Tube services to handle the expected passenger growth into the future.

The new spacious street-level concourse enables passengers to access all the platforms from one place and new entrances and exits provide better routes to and from the station. Every platform has been completely rebuilt and is 30% more spacious than previously – to accommodate longer, twelve car services through every platform.

Transforming one of Britain’s busiest stations

Our investment in stations and our diverse, high quality retail offer are directly linked to growing customer satisfaction.

The new station is more accessible, with lifts and escalator access to all platforms, which together with better shops and facilities will provide a much improved passenger experience.

London Bridge station re-opening

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 for Transport, 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 schoolchildren, public film screenings and live music in the station.


The first station to span the River Thames, Blackfriars now offers passengers:

  • Longer trains
  • More frequent services
  • Easier connections to the Underground
  • New entrance on the south bank of the Thames connecting passengers to Tate Modern and this rapidly developing area of London
  • Lifts and escalators for step-free access to both banks of the Thames.


Stunning views, smoother connections, sustainable delivery

The station also includes the world’s largest solar bridge with over 4,400 photovoltaic panels, enough to cover 23 tennis courts.

The roof provides up to 50% of the station’s energy, reducing the station’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes per year – equivalent approximately to 89,000 (average) car journeys.



Farringdon has been expanded to handle the increase in Thameslink passengers coming in from new connections such as Cambridge and Peterborough. The interchange between Thameslink and Crossrail Services at Farringdon will allow all Thameslink passengers to combine their journeys and reach London’s main business districts (The City, West End and Canary Wharf) in a matter of minutes.

Examples include:

  • From Farringdon to Canary Wharf – 8 minutes
  • From Farringdon to Bond Street – 4 minutes
  • From Farringdon to Heathrow Airport Central – 31 minutes.

With the opening of the Elizabeth line, Farringdon will become London’s newest transport hub connecting north, south, east and west so new route options such as St Albans to Heathrow or Cambridge to Canary Wharf will become available.

London’s newest transport hub

With the opening of the Elizabeth line, Farringdon will connect north, south, east and west London.

Better stations on Midland Mainline

Passengers are already seeing longer platforms at many stations on the routes from London to Bedford, enabling longer 12-car Thameslink trains to call at these stations.

A new station building and a new entrance has also been built at West Hampstead Thameslink, providing more capacity and easier interchange with nearby London Underground and London Overground services.

Meanwhile, a new footbridge and lifts to all platforms provide step-free access.

Other routes

Thameslink Programme has extended platforms at Shepreth and Foxton, south of Cambridge, to enable longer Thameslink trains to call.