Two new platforms at London Bridge rail station revealed as massive Thameslink improvement programme gathers pace

Two new platforms at London Bridge rail station revealed as massive Thameslink improvement programme gathers pace

The first phase of the dramatic rebuild of London Bridge railway station finished on Monday 31 March when the first two new platforms were brought into use and the next two were taken out of use for redevelopment.

London Bridge is one of Britain’s busiest stations, serving 54m passengers a year, and is getting busier. The current layout of the station and the tracks surrounding it mean that currently no more trains can run during the morning or evening peak periods.
The station is being redeveloped as part of the government-sponsored £6.5bn Thameslink Programme, which will transform north-south travel through London. The investment will remove bottlenecks to enable new, more spacious trains to run with Tube-like frequency every 2-3 minutes at peak times through central London by 2018, reducing pressure on the Underground. Better connections will offer passengers more travel options to new destinations while new track and modern trains will make journeys more reliable.

The overhaul of London Bridge – Britain’s biggest ever station redevelopment – will result in a bigger, brighter, station that is unrecognisable from today. When complete the station will be longer than the Shard is tall, with a new single concourse larger than the pitch at Wembley at street level to provide more space and easier connections to other rail services and the Underground. Improved links will join the two communities to the north and south of the station and help boost economic regeneration in the area.

The entire length of the new, longer platforms at London Bridge will be covered by strikingly designed undulating canopies of steel and aluminium, allowing passengers to make full use of them during all weather conditions, making boarding trains more efficient. Stunning ‘eyebrow’ arches over north-facing glass will let light flood the platform and the new concourse being built directly below.

Dave Ward, Network Rail route managing director, said:

“This huge investment in rebuilding London Bridge station will transform rail travel in London for millions of people across London and the south east. By 2018, London Bridge will be the most modern station in Britain with more space, better connections and great facilities.

“Keeping London Bridge open for passengers while we rebuild it is a critical and challenging part of the Thameslink Programme. Construction goes on as much as possible behind the scenes without impacting passengers but there will be times each year between now and 2018 where services into the station will need to change.

“Wherever possible, we will schedule work that requires changes to train services at quieter times, such as summer holidays and Christmas, to minimise disruption as much as possible.”

Chris Burchell, Southern’s managing director said:

“The opening of the first two new platforms at London Bridge demonstrates real progress in the huge transformation programme for the station. They also offer passengers, who have been living with the reduced capacity at the station for some months now, an initial glimpse of the future benefits when the wider programme is complete. There is much more work still to do affecting Southern passengers at London Bridge in 2014 for which detailed information on travel options are being provided – particularly for the partial closure on 28 March as well as the longer closures between 23 and 31 August and 20 December and 4 January 2015. We are grateful to passengers for their support and patience over this period.”

David Statham, First Capital Connect managing director, said:

“The Thameslink Programme and Network Rail’s rebuilding of London Bridge is going to give the Thameslink route its own dedicated platforms and a fabulous high frequency service.

“Inevitably this means service changes, with diversions for Thameslink trains around London Bridge in August and for a further three years from December. So we urge people to log on to ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk to find out what’s happening and to plan ahead.”

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said:

“Thameslink is vital if we are to deliver a transport network fit for the 21st century, providing more seats across the morning peak and better connections across the south east. The London Bridge redevelopment is at the heart of this project and I am pleased to see progress is being made with the opening of these two new platforms. Whilst there will be disruption, the benefits to passengers in the long term will be tremendous.”

Summary of Station changes from 31 March 2014

Station changes

  • New platforms 14 and 15 opened for your use
  • Platforms 12 and 13 will remain closed for redevelopment until August 2014
  • Platforms 11, 14 and 15 are narrowed to allow work to continue behind the hoardings. It might take you longer to get off your train and pass through the gates during the morning rush hour/morning peak.
  • A new waiting area has been put in place between the ticket gates and the entrance to platform 15.
  • The footbridge over platforms is not accessible from platforms 11-15, but you will still be able to reach it from platforms 1-10.
  • A station map of the changes can be found here

Platform 15 waiting area

  • When the station is busy, passengers will be asked to wait in the waiting area or on the concourse while passengers from arriving trains alight and leave.
  • This will ensure passengers waiting to board the train can access/walk along the platform more easily.
  • We’ve timed how long it takes to walk along the platform and can reassure you that you won’t miss your train if you are asked to wait in this area.
  • Passengers with reduced mobility or with pushchairs should ask staff in the waiting area for help.