Key phase of Thameslink Programme complete
Thameslink route restored across central London
Thameslink rail services today started running across central London again all day and every day, offering uninterrupted journeys between Bedford and Brighton once again!
The first major phase of work to the track and signalling on the Thameslink route is now complete. Since December 2008, closures have been required between St Pancras International (and sometimes Kentish Town) and London Bridge/Herne Hill at night and during weekends to enable Network Rail to upgrade the signalling system.
Jim Crawford, Programme Director, Network Rail said: “the completion of this phase of work is a major achievement that will benefit thousands of passengers every day. It is testament that by working together with our industry partners we can perform major surgery on key parts of the railway in central London whilst keeping routes open for business during weekdays. This is a good signal for what is to come at London Bridge, when we start work to unlock the full benefits of the Thameslink Programme”.
The completed work is phase one of the Thameslink Programme, a two part project to allow metro-style service of up to 24 trains per hour in each direction north-south through London from 2018. Work on phase two starts in early 2013 as London Bridge is transformed into a bigger, brighter station with more train services.
The benefits of phase one include:
- Better journeys for those heading across London for a daytrip to the coast maybe or to catch a flight at Gatwick or Luton, both of which are on the Thameslink route.
- Longer weekend trains: eight carriage trains nearly all day between Bedford and Brighton on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Later trains back to Brighton from London (as a result of timetable changes we have also been able to extend the 23.42 and 00.12 Saturday night London Bridge – Three Bridges trains to Brighton via Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and Hassocks, giving theatregoers extra time in London).
- A better weekend service for people on the Wimbledon/Sutton loop (on Saturdays from 26 May, extra evening trains will run on the Wimbledon loop to and from St Albans. Also, for the first time, from 27 May, there will be a new Sunday service between Sutton and Blackfriars via Mitcham Junction, twice an hour).
- Better services at East Croydon (First Capital Connect had been running two trains an hour just one station stop north to and from London Bridge on Sundays. With the new timetable there are now four trains an hour on Sundays as well as Saturdays through London Bridge and right across London all the way to Bedford and back.
- · Blackfriars, City Thameslink and Farringdon stations in central London are all now open again for Thameslink route trains overnight and at the weekend (with the exception of Sundays at City Thameslink which is closed on this day). Blackfriars has a new south bank entrance which makes it ideal for Tate Modern, Globe Theatre and the South Bank cultural attractions.