Latest Rail News

04.12.17

London Bridge station set to open in January as all track is completed

London Bridge station is on course to reopen on 2 January next year following the completion of all track work around the area.

There will be a period of 10 days of major re-signalling work, during which major service changes and line closures will hit a number of London stations, before the reopening.

The news is a major milestone for the Thameslink Programme, with the new station able to host Thameslink services from May 2018 – the first time in three years.

Mark Somers, railway systems project director for the programme, said he was “thrilled” to complete the “most complex track realignment the UK’s railway has ever seen.”

He added: “By untangling the tracks surrounding London Bridge, we will provide more reliable, more frequent journeys for passengers ever before. The Thameslink Programme is a vital part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan and I am very proud of the work we have done.”

Network Rail says it has remodelled over 40km of railway that links London Bridge to both Blackfriars and Lewisham since work began in 2009.

This also involved strengthening 35 bridges and the construction of 154 sets of points – which allow trains to move from one track to another.

Between 23 December and 1 January there will be no trains to or from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East, Farringdon and other major London stations because of the work.

There will also be no Southeastern services at London Bridge, while Network Rail carries out extensive re-signalling and continues to work on the station redevelopment ahead of the final third of the new concourse and platforms 1 to 5 opening on 2 January.

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Comments

Huguenot   04/12/2017 at 18:02

Can't see why Thameslink services from the north couldn't go at least as far as Farringdon (or even City Thameslink -- both have crossovers) during the Christmas blockade, instead of terminating them all at St Pancras.

Brian Creasey   04/12/2017 at 18:12

Thameslink services from the north have to terminate at St Pancras International High Level due to engineering works at Kentish Town over the same period.

Andrew Gwilt   04/12/2017 at 22:13

London Bridge will become the most busiest railway station on the Thameslink Network when Thameslink trains will starting using London Bridge and with London Bridge at full capacity with trains serving Kent and Sussex that won’t cause congestion with Thameslink trains that causes so many delays and disruptions. Hope it goes well next year. Plus with the link between St. Pancras International and the ECML that will open so that Thameslink trains will be operating to Peterborough, Cambridge and Cambridge North to & from Wimbledon, Brighton, Horsham, Sevenoaks and Gatwick Airport when the May 2018 timetable takes place with new services to be added aswell on the Thameslink Network.

Andrew Williams   04/12/2017 at 23:53

Why do the fix then line from Lewes to uckfield then and newick too

James Miller   05/12/2017 at 10:48

The full opening of Thameslink and London Bridge will expose St. Pancras as a poorly-designed station. Suppose you want to travel between a local station on the ECML and one on the MML. You will have to change at St. Pancras, which unlike London Bridge and virtually all the Crossrail stations will not be a simple walk across the platform, but a hike up and down an overbridge. This is just one of several major design faults in what could have been a much better station.

Trevor Lewis   05/12/2017 at 12:38

I was interested to learn that the project included ' the construction of 154 sets of points – which allow trains to move from one track to another.' - I often wondered what they were for.

Twdiscussed   05/12/2017 at 14:06

"completion of all track work around the area" simply isn't true: 2 out of the 6 Southeaastern tracks haven't been reconnected yet at New Cross - 2 more of these "points" things needed to allow trains to move onto these tracks :)

Rob   05/12/2017 at 15:24

When will thameslink trains from luton be able to stoop at london bridge, getting mixed messages. Is this from 2 Jan? or May 2018?

David   05/12/2017 at 18:27

James, what do you propose instead? They were working within a very constrained space for the station box.

Mike   05/12/2017 at 20:13

And note that the full (brave) 24tph through the core has now been kicked out by at least a year, further calling into doubt exactly what this massive project will actually deliver. First it turned out Windmill Bridge was a capacity constraint on the BML, which no-one had realised. Now it turns out that integrating ATO and ETCS and getting the planned throughput might be tricky. What a surprise.

James Miller   06/12/2017 at 06:57

The full opening of Thameslink and London Bridge will expose St. Pancras as a poorly-designed station. Suppose you want to travel between a local station on the ECML and one on the MML. You will have to change at St. Pancras, which unlike London Bridge and virtually all the Crossrail stations will not be a simple walk across the platform, but a hike up and down an overbridge. This is just one of several major design faults in what could have been a much better station.

James Miller   06/12/2017 at 07:32

David! You ask what I propose instead! The fault lies years ago, when the Thameslink box was built. It was a mistake to not design Thameslink with a central platform. But then St. Pancras was designed for show and not to make things easier for passengers. I avoid the place like the plague. London Bridge shows how you can create a station where interchange is easy. At least when LB is fully open, I'll have a convenient way to use Thameslink, by taking a bus across the City from Dalston.

John Grant   06/12/2017 at 11:03

@Rob: yesterday's Thameslink mailing says "There will still be work to do .... Once complete, London Bridge will be ... able to support the new timetables, meaning better journeys, more reliable services for passengers and, from May 2018, Thameslink services returning to London Bridge for the first time in over three years, serving a range of new destinations." So it's May. Sorry.

Vince   03/01/2018 at 12:31

passengers have often wondered why the thameslink services do not run further north. Passengers travelling south with limited knowledge of the capital would find life easier not having to change trains in London.

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