New viaduct comes into use as trains return to Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Waterloo East
After 10 days of engineering work, a new viaduct has been brought into use at London Bridge, carrying trains to Charing Cross and Waterloo East.
It’s all part of the Thameslink Programme’s rebuilding of the railway and station at London Bridge. The 10-day project this Christmas, which saw no Southeastern trains calling at London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Cannon Street, also included the introduction of new track and signalling and the transfer of control from London Bridge to Three Bridges operating centre.
Thameslink Programme director Simon Blanchflower said: “I would like to thank passengers for their patience this Christmas and New Year while we brought our new viaduct and signalling system into use. With fewer passengers travelling than at other times of year, Christmas gives us the best opportunity to do this kind of major work.
“By opening Borough Viaduct, we have been able to take two existing tracks out of use for rebuilding, which is a crucial step in the ongoing reconstruction of London Bridge station. Platforms alongside those new tracks are rapidly taking shape and we are looking forward to opening the first half of the new station in August this year.”
Southeastern’s Managing Director David Statham said: “The Thameslink programme is a major series of improvement works to rebuild London Bridge station and to improve the railway for passengers for years to come.
“The work that took place over the Christmas period to bring a new viaduct into use meant we were unable to serve some of our main central London stations for ten days. I would like to say that I am extremely grateful to our passengers for their patience while this important work was carried out.”
The Christmas work at London Bridge was part of a £150m investment nationally by Network Rail, as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. More than 20,000 men and women worked through Christmas and New Year at more than 500 worksites.
Trains to and from Charing Cross are now running across the new Borough Viaduct, which was put in place in 2011 but left without track until recent months. Those trains have been running through London Bridge without stopping since January 2015, but when the first half of the new London Bridge concourse opens after August this year, those services will begin calling again, using brand-new, fully-accessible platforms.
At the same time, Cannon Street trains will begin running through London Bridge without stopping, as their platforms will be taken out of use for rebuilding until January 2018.