A station transformed
London Bridge station has been rebuilt, transforming central London’s oldest station into a station fit for the twenty-first century by making it modern, spacious and fully accessible. This has all been achieved while keeping London’s fourth busiest station open for the 50 million passengers that use the station each year.
Work began in 2012 with the removal of the old train shed, parts of which were preserved and donated to the Vale of Rheidol Railway in Aberystwyth. To keep the station open throughout has meant a phased construction approach over the six years of redevelopment work, moving south to north across the station between 2013 and 2018.
Bigger, brighter, better
The Thameslink Programme has delivered a station which now has two-thirds more space for passengers, future proofing the station amid unprecedented passenger growth on the Thameslink, Southern and Southeastern networks.
New entrances on Tooley Street and St Thomas Street have improved connections between the areas surrounding the station. The Stainer Street walkway creates a north-south link through the station, opening up the area. Tube and bus links have also been improved.
One unified station
For the first time in its history, all 15 platforms at London Bridge are now accessible from one central point, simplifying the layout of the station for passengers. The huge, street level concourse is the largest in the United Kingdom, and is roughly the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium.
Staff facilities at the station were also unified, bringing Network Rail and train operator staff together in one welfare area. The new, state of the art control room, located above the ticket office, is also a joint facility, encouraging collaboration among the station staff.
London Bridge station has been designed to be inclusive and accessible for all users. This includes people with special mobility, visual, cognitive and hearing requirements. The entire station is accessible for passengers with reduced mobility, with all platforms accessible by lift for the first time. Seven new lifts have been installed in total.
Other accessibility improvements include tactile paving to support wayfinding, a Changing Places toilet, induction loops throughout the station and accessibility assistance points at every entrance.
An exciting destination
The redevelopment of the station is also ensuring that it becomes a destination in its own right and a real asset to the surrounding area. We’re creating a place for people to meet, eat, shop and socialise, as well as travel, while opening up the South Bank for business and communities to thrive.
As part of this investment we are introducing 92,000 square feet of new retail and more than 70 retail units – the most ever in a Network Rail station. These new units will offer a fantastic mix of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy. They include big brands and a number of small independent retailers.
Bigger platforms for longer trains
Every platform has been completely rebuilt at the station and platforms are 25% more spacious than previously at the station. This is achieved partially through being extended to accommodate longer, twelve car services through every platform. In fact, the station footprint is now so long that if The Shard was laid down beside the station, the station would be longer!
Every platform now also has a striking full length canopy, the first station in the UK to have every platform covered for their whole length. This helps encourage passengers to use the full length of every platform and maximise platform capacity at busy times, now and in the future.
Reactivating Stainer Street
As well as improving travel for passengers, Network Rail and Thameslink Programme were also committed to enhancing the local community around the station. This ambition saw the former Stainer Street, previously little more than a polluted cut through for traffic, transformed. The new public walkway, which connects Bermondsey and Bankside, is now a pleasant, safe pedestrian route through the station.
The walkway features an ambitious new artwork – ‘Me. Here. Now.’ – by south London-based artist Mark Titchner, consisting of three giant domes suspended from the ceiling of the walkway. The artwork was unrelieved alongside the opening of the new walkway on Wednesday 17 October 2018.
The artwork commission supports the profile of the new Shard Quarter. It will also help to deliver the ambitious objectives of the Team London Bridge Culture Strategy, which supports investment in culture and the creative industries in the area.
Remodelling London Bridge
The London Bridge redevelopment project was about more than creating a spacious concourse for passengers at the station. It also gave an opportunity to completely remodel both the platform and track layout at the station to unlock the bottleneck London Bridge had become.
Previously there were nine terminating platforms at London Bridge, with six through platforms. This meant Thameslink services and Southeastern services to/from Charing Cross shared lines and platforms, reducing the available space for Thameslink services. In fact, during peak hours with the previous layout there was just one Thameslink train per hour.
The platforms have been ‘flipped’ as part of the rebuild, meaning there are now six terminating platforms and nine through platforms in the final layout. This means more trains to and from more destinations can serve London Bridge and carry on across London and beyond.
Working with the new infrastructure to the east (Bermondsey Dive Under) and west (Borough Viaduct) of the station, Charing Cross and Thameslink services now have their own dedicated lines and platforms at London Bridge for the first time. This means up to sixteen Thameslink trains per hour can now call at London Bridge at the busiest times – a huge uplift in capacity.
Untangling the approaches
The railway on the approaches to London Bridge is part of the oldest railway in London, where the London and Greenwich Railway first ran in 1836. It is also one of the busiest and most complex track layouts in Europe.
This historic stretch of railway has also been completely transformed with new track, signalling, power and telecoms systems installed across a three mile stretch of railway which is more than eleven tracks wide in places. This adds up to a total of more than 42km of new track, more than 150 new sets of points (equipment that allows trains to change tracks) and the largest signalling replacement scheme ever undertaken by Network Rail.
This mammoth scheme of renewals was integrated seamlessly with the plans for the rebuild of the station itself. During each phase of the station redevelopment, the tracks approaching the station had to reflect the changing platform arrangements in place at that time, across more than six years of constant flux. The layout has been simplified with resilience built in to the network through the creation of dedicated lines for each service group at the station, as well as the use of brand new, state of the art materials and equipment.
In the interview below, Balfour Beatty’s Railway Systems Engineer, Chris Ottley explains the work undertaken during the 2017 Easter blockade to re-align the tracks approaching London Bridge station.
Project Team Film – ‘Changing the Future’
This video features interviews with several of the key people from the original Network Rail and Costain project team.
They talk about their broad experiences and lessons they learned while working on the London Bridge Redevelopment Project.
Samantha Wadsworth – Project Director, Network Rail
Sylvia Churba – Contractors Engineering Manager, Costain
Nick Shaw – Architect, Network Rail (RIP)
James Elford – Delivery Director, Costain
Sharon Fink – Health and Safety Manager, Network Rail
Boris Lucic – Senior Programme and Engineering Manager, Network Rail
Peter Ward – Senior Construction Manager, Network Rail
Amer Inayat – Planning Manager, Costain
Daragh Brady – Construction Manager, Network Rail
Nick Jones – Project Manager, Costain
Willie Gleeson – Work Superintendant, Costain
AnnaMarie Compton – Consents Manager, Network Rail
Ben Howard – Project Manager, Costain
Veronica Tattersall – Occupational Nurse, Costain
Julie Nelson – Office Manager, Costain
Richard Emmins – Station Interface Manager, Network Rail
Related Case Studies
This report outlines how the London Bridge Station Redevelopment Project met the Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme Sustainable Delivery Strategy. It also captures the sustainability themed achievements, and challenges, of the project.
A number of heritage features were preserved during the redevelopment of London Bridge station, which involved the demolition of a Grade II listed building under listed building consent.
This report summarises the approach to social sustainability, and its achievements, at London Bridge station including equality and diversity and engagement with the local community and our supply chain.
London Bridge station has been designed to be inclusive and accessible for all users, including people with special mobility, visual, cognitive and hearing requirements. This case study showcases our achievements and lessons learned.
This case study considers procurement and commercial strategy as part of collaborative planning, management and delivery of the Thameslink London Bridge Area Partnership works.
How focusing on the delivery of benefits, rather than outputs, created a working culture and the processes that were key to the success of the London Bridge station redevelopment project.
This case study considers the importance of early contractor involvement as part of collaborative planning, management and delivery of the Thameslink London Bridge Area Partnership works.
London Bridge station's innovative use of prefabrication saw it win a Structural Steel Award Prize for 2018. This case study looks at the prefabrication of the station bridge decks, installation of the decks and canopies plus the related challenges and achievements.
How the lessons learned from previous major projects, alignment of the project programme and reorganisation of the project development team helped contribute towards a successful operational readiness programme at London Bridge station.
The theme for Costain's eighth annual SHE Impact Day was the impact mental health can have on lives. The event included a talk from Frank Bruno MBE.
How installation of Network Rail’s largest ever hoarding, alongside a customer-driven approach to communications, led to high levels of passenger awareness during the redevelopment of London Bridge station.
One of the challenges of the Thameslink Programme was keeping London Bridge station open while the demolition and re-construction activities were taking place.
Reviewing the key challenges, programme of works, methodology and logistics associated with installation of the Vierendeel truss at London Bridge station.
This case study looks at scope hierarchy and assurance reporting during the LBSR project. It also shares requirements management best practice, lessons learned and key recommendations for future infrastructure projects.
This case study, from design and wayfinding contractor Maynard Design, explains how wayfinding solutions were adapted to keep passengers moving around the station as routes changed on a regular basis during the project’s construction phases.
A three-stage process to ensure physical interfaces were allocated, coordinated and completed correctly first time on site by subcontractors during the London Bridge Station Redevelopment project.
Achieving Whole Life Cost objectives for five key project elements: Geothermal Piles and Heat Pump, Escalators, Lifts, Photovoltaic Cells and Platform and Concourse Lighting.
How collaboration and incentivisation were crucial to successful delivery of Key Output 2, including the re-signalling, track remodelling and construction of London Bridge station, construction of the Bermondsey Dive Under to the east and Borough Viaduct to the west.
Lessons learned from challenges encountered during the operation of previous station configurations resulted in adoption of the successful ‘Dog Leg’ pedestrian flow plan in August 2016
SafeTime provides real-time scaffolding safety inspection data and alerts project teams to when weekly checks are due. The cloud-based system reduced the chance of errors and provided an audit trail for all users.
James Elford, London Bridge Project Director, Costain discusses the benefits of using scale or full size models to demonstrate the design, aesthetics and materials used on elements of the project.
Self-Delivery has enabled Costain to develop a model which enables a systematic and consistent approach in the deployment of resources, materials and controls on major projects. In this case study, James Elford, London Bridge Project Director, talks about the success of self-delivery during the station redevelopment project.
Without the reconfiguration of the track and platform layout at London Bridge, up to 80% of the Thameslink Programme benefits could not be delivered. This case study looks at the optimisation of passenger circulation and pedestrian modelling to ensure the public could move through the concourse area and to their platform or other destinations efficiently.
This case study looks at how each steel roof canopy was manufactured and partially assembled offsite. Final finishing was carried out on site at ground level and then lifted into place in a pre-practiced method.
As the construction of London Bridge station progressed, the need for an awareness campaign focused on the risks of poor manual handling of equipment and materials became a high priority. The two campaigns detailed here were developed to embed the messaging.
The official opening of London Bridge station by the Duke of Cambridge on 9 May 2018 showcased what the Thameslink Programme has delivered to date for passengers and the surrounding community.
With steelwork being on the London Bridge project’s critical path, any problems encountered by Bourne Group had a knock-on impact to the rest of the programme, so it was important to keep whole project team happy.