The Government-sponsored £7bn Thameslink Programme is an ambitious 10 year programme of extensive infrastructure improvements and delivery of 115 new trains. Once complete, it will transform north-south travel through London.
Thameslink trains operate on one of the busiest and most congested parts of the railway. Passenger journeys in London and the south east have also more than doubled in the last two decades.
Our work is helping to meet this huge rise in demand. Once the Thameslink Programme is complete, the number of Thameslink trains running through central London will significantly increase. During the busiest periods, trains will run at a Tube-like frequency every 2-3 minutes between Blackfriars and St Pancras International.
Connections will also be improved, offering passengers better travel options to more destinations. It will also help reduce congestion on London Underground – particularly the Northern line.
The Thameslink Programme is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to improve rail travel.
Now that the majority of our infrastructure work is complete, the Thameslink route is being expanded. A new timetable is being introduced in May 2018. It will include new connections to Peterborough, Cambridge and new destinations in Sussex and Kent. This is the biggest timetable change for a generation and part of wider changes to timetables across the south east.
Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express passengers can find new timetables and information about each route published on the RailPlan20/20 website.
Southeastern passengers can find new timetables and a station-by-station guide to the changes published on the Southeastern website.
Station improvements at Farringdon and Blackfriars were completed in 2011. London Bridge station has been completely rebuilt alongside other infrastructure improvements and the introduction of new technology. New, modern trains are already in passenger service on Thameslink routes and the expansion of the Thameslink network will see 80 more stations added to Thameslink routes, providing better connections across London and the south east.
From May 2018 passengers will begin to see up to 70% of the Thameslink Programme’s overall benefits. They include extra space for up to 40,000 more passengers each day at the busiest times. New north-south connections across London will also be opened up. And Thameslink services will also return to London Bridge.
Extra improvements will follow in phases, every six months, until December 2019 when there will be 24 trains per hour through central London at the busiest times – making space for an extra space for 60,000 people each day.
The Thameslink Programme is delivering huge engineering projects. The routes affected by them need to be ready to step up to the new challenges created. These challenges include more frequent trains, new technology, new maintenance and new ways of working.
People, technology, planning and maintenance are being managed carefully to ensure readiness. There will be a number of changes in 2018 to ensure a seamless transition from old to new. They include new trains and improved signalling, decision making and information flow.
London Bridge station is now fully operational. The new concourse and 15 entirely rebuilt platforms came in to use in January 2018. Some Thameslink trains are using the new platforms 4 and 5 as part of driver training; a full service will resume in May 2018.
Minor work at the station is continuing during 2018. This is taking place on the Upper Concourse, Stainer Street and in preparation for more places to meet, eat, shop and socialise.
The first new Class 700 trains built by Siemens began running on Thameslink routes in 2016. All the new trains will be in service by summer 2018. In total, 115 new trains and 1,140 new carriages have been built.
Two new depots have also been built by Siemens to maintain the new trains. The new depot at Three Bridges, near Gatwick Airport, was completed in July 2015. Meanwhile, the new depot at Hornsey, north London, came into use in summer 2016.
Our aim is to create an overall positive impact on the environment and communities. The Thameslink Programme has achieved the highest certification in environmental practice and won industry awards for its sustainable approach towards redeveloping Blackfriars, Farringdon and London Bridge.
Enquiries or complaints about the Thameslink Programme, or London Bridge redevelopment project, should be directed to Network Rail’s National Helpline number: 03457 11 41 41.
Enquiries and complaints that can’t be answered by the Helpline advisor will be directed to the project team within 24 hours. Out of hours enquiries or complaints that the Helpline believe cannot wait until the next working day will be directed to the project duty manager’s phone, and dealt with by the site management team. The project community relations manager will then follow-up as appropriate the next working day.
All complaints and enquiries are logged by the National Helpline, and by the project team. This ensures that matters are responded to quickly, and that we can understand the issue fully.