Transformation of Farringdon begins with Thameslink bridge lift
Network Rail's transformation of Farringdon station into one of the capital’s most important transport interchanges has begun in earnest. The steel and glass bridge, which links the rail and London Underground platforms, will provide much more room for passengers than the old footbridge, helping to alleviate pressure at the busiest times of day.
The bridge design includes innovative elliptical support pillars which have helped to free up much-needed space on Farringdon’s narrow platforms. This will be particularly important once the Farringdon to Moorgate branch of the Thameslink route closes in March so work can begin to extend the platforms at Farringdon to accommodate longer 12-car trains.
Installation of the new footbridge began three weeks ago when the first 32-tonne, 16.5-metre section was lifted into place using a colossal 800-tonne crane. Further sections have been installed in the intervening weekends with work scheduled to cause as little disruption as possible to rail and tube passengers. The last remaining sections of the new structure were installed over the weekend following the removal of the final sections of the old bridge, which was installed 25 years ago.
Andy Mitchell, Thameslink Programme project manager at Network Rail, said: “This was certainly a tricky operation, especially given the location of Farringdon station in an isolated cutting with tall buildings on all sides. Installing the new bridge marks a significant milestone on the congestion-busting Thameslink Programme which will deliver what passengers need - more capacity, more seats and less crowding.”
When complete, the Thameslink Programme works at Farringdon will include not only the new footbridge but also a new additional London Underground station entrance in Turnmill Street, new station canopies, and a new, fully accessible concourse in Cowcross Street (opposite the existing LU station concourse which will remain). This new concourse will not only serve north-south Thameslink route services but also future east-west Crossrail services.
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