New infrastructure

Untangling the tracks

More passengers, better connections

The rail network in the south east has been used intensively for a very long period of time by commuters travelling to work and the infrastructure was not designed for the demands now placed upon it. Reliability of train services is crucial to passengers.

The Thameslink Programme has installed new track and new signalling which allows increased services to be operated and managed safely. The extra through-platforms means the number of destinations has increased while reducing the bottleneck at London Bridge. New tunnels have also been brought into use enabling a more effective service for more passengers.

New track and signalling

The Thameslink Programme has delivered new infrastructure, including track and signalling on one of the busiest parts of Network Rail’s infrastructure while keeping it open to passengers. By realigning tracks at Blackfriars and in and around London Bridge trains do not have to slow down or stop at junctions to allow other services to pass. Relieving these bottlenecks reduces the time trains wait for platforms to clear, increases resilience, reduces delays, will enable more Thameslink services to operate through central London and improves performance.

Untangling the tracks around London Bridge

London Bridge has been rebuilt to create more through platforms – from nine terminating and six through platforms to six terminating and nine through platforms. Previously, services had to share the through platforms at London Bridge. The station has been rebuilt to enable more Thameslink trains to call, providing 30% more capacity for trains into and through London Bridge. Thameslink, Southeastern and Southern services now all have dedicated routes on the approach at London Bridge. By the end of 2019, there will be up to 16 Thameslink services an hour in the peak through London Bridge.

Borough Viaduct

The construction of the new Borough Viaduct on the western approach to London Bridge station in 2011 meant that train flows could be separated. This has been in use by Southeastern services since January 2016 and now provides dedicated routes for services to and from Charing Cross which are more efficient and less prone to delays for passengers.

Bermondsey Dive Under

Completed in 2017, the Bermondsey Dive Under is a major new junction in south east London, similar to a motorway flyover. It allows the Thameslink lines from Sussex to cross the lines from Kent unimpeded on their approach to London Bridge station. This has increased the number of Thameslink trains that can serve London Bridge, improving reliability and reducing pressure on the railway which will ultimately reduce delays.

Track remodelling and resignalling

As well as the redevelopment of the station itself, work at London Bridge included track remodelling and re-signalling of all lines East and West of London Bridge station. This has involved 128 different track layout changes and nine major re-signalling changes plus the strengthening of 35 bridge structures. Over 40km track and 147 new switches and crossings have been installed.

New depots and stabling facilities

The Thameslink Programme has delivered two brand new state-of-the art depots at Three Bridges near Crawley and Hornsey in north London. It has also delivered new stabling and servicing facilities for the new Class 700 trains at Bedford Cauldwell, Cricklewood, Horsham, Peterborough and Cambridge.

Work is currently underway at Cambridge Depot, which will involve complete remodelling of the tracks and new lines being installed under a road bridge, all due for completion by December 2019. Other depot schemes to be delivered under the Programme include facilities in Ashford, Brighton and Sevenoaks.