London’s newest transport hub

Farringdon is unique. It is the only location where the Elizabeth line will connect with the high frequency north – south Thameslink route, as well as linking up with the existing London Underground services. This will transform Farringdon in to one of London’s most important transport hubs.

Connecting north, south, east and west

As well as connecting Thameslink to the Elizabeth Line, Farringdon will also have direct links to St Pancras International for Eurostar connections and three major airports: Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton.

Existing Tube services and up to 24 trains per hour running in each direction at peak times on both Thameslink and the Elizabeth line mean that Farringdon will eventually be served by over 140 trains per hour at the busiest times.

This will help to relieve pressure on the Tube and offer more options to passengers.

Protecting the past

The original Farringdon station was built in 1863 as the terminus of the Metropolitan Railway, the world’s first underground railway. The redevelopment work at Farringdon has increased space for both future Thameslink and Elizabeth line passengers while also respecting the heritage of the Grade II listed station.

The London Underground station entrance on Cowcross Street has been sensitively widened to include more ticket gates and other facilities while also having its historic façade restored. However, the track layout of the original station restricted both the number and the length of train services it could accommodate.

The branch to Moorgate had to be closed in early 2009 as part of the preparations to enable the platforms at the southern end of Farringdon to be extended. The longer platforms were required to allow twelve car trains to serve the station. The closure of the Moorgate branch could not be avoided. The southern end of the platforms was the only option for extension due to the sharp incline at the northern end of the station.

A more accessible Farringdon

Farringdon has been made considerably more accessible by the Thameslink Programme. A total of five new lifts have been installed, which means the station now has step-free access to every platform for the first time.

A new glass and steel footbridge has also been installed that, combined with the new lifts and staircases, improves interchange at the station between National Rail and London Underground services for all passengers. A new concourse linking to this new footbridge has also been built on Turnmill Street, increasing the options available for accessing the station.

Overall at Farringdon, the redevelopment has delivered 36 new ticket gates, 20 new staircases, one new footbridge, two new ticket offices and nine new ticket machines, spread over the restored original entrance and the two newly built entrances.

Planning for the future

Over two and a half years between June 2009 and December 2011 a new ticket hall was created on the southern side of Cowcross Street which is dedicated to future Thameslink and Crossrail passengers. At 165 square metres, this concourse is designed to cater for the estimated 150,000 passengers who will use the station each day once both services are fully operational in 2019.

In December 2011 the extended platforms were opened allowing longer, twelve car services to serve Farringdon for the first time, providing an immediate 50% increase in capacity for passengers. Overall, there will be three times as many Thameslink services through Farringdon when the Thameslink Programme completes in 2019 compared to when work started in 2009.

The train shed roof at Farringdon was also extended at the northern end of the station. This work was done give coverage to more of the platform area and encourage passengers to spread out and use the full length of the platforms, maximising their capacity even in inclement weather.

Biodiverse and sustainable

Sustainability also had an important influence on the design and build at Farringdon. The newly refurbished station has a living roof to increase biodiversity in an area with low ecological value, helping create habitat for the Black Redstart bird species amongst others. The ‘brown’ roof contributed 20% towards the London Borough of Islington’s new habitat creation target in 2012.

Without taking into account the long-term benefits of improved insulation the brown roof was also nearly £40,000 cheaper than using zinc. The design of the new ticket hall would have required over 500 tonnes of steel but instead, a responsibly sourced, eco-reinforced option was chosen. Nearly 95% of this was recycled material.

Related Case Studies

Biodiversity: Farringdon Station

The integration of a living roof into the Farringdon station design set the standard for best practice in Ecology and Biodiversity across Thameslink Programme.

Built Heritage: Farringdon Station

Grade II listed Farringdon station building was built in 1865 and modified in 1922. This case study outlines the heritage features that were preserved during its redevelopment, the design challenges faced and best practice for future projects.

CEEQUAL: Farringdon station

How CEEQUAL helped both measure and drive sustainability performance during the redevelopment of Farringdon station.

Structural Steel – Farringdon

The existing arched Victorian roof was to be extended at Farringdon station. The new structural steel section had to be built over the live railway lines which needed to be kept running.

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