Latest Rail News

26.03.14

New London Bridge platforms to open on schedule

This phase of the London Bridge station upgrade is scheduled to finish on time, when the first two new platforms will be brought into use on 31 March.

Following this, as part of the government-sponsored £6.5bn Thameslink Programme, the next two platforms will be taken out of use for redevelopment.

A Thameslink spokesman explained: “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.”

New canopies arc over north facing glass on 14

The London Bridge works are vital to Thameslink, as they get rid of bottlenecks and enable new, more spacious Class 700 trains to run with Tube-like frequency every 2-3 minutes at peak times through central London by 2018, reducing pressure on the Underground. (Much more on the technical upgrades required to achieve this can be found in RTM’s special feature on Thameslink here)

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.”

Additionally, 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.

Rail minister Stephen Hammond added that 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,” he added. “Whilst there will be disruption, the benefits to passengers in the long term will be tremendous.”

The entire length of the new, longer platforms at London Bridge will be covered by undulating canopies of steel and aluminium, allowing passengers to make full use of them during all weather conditions, making boarding trains more efficient

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."

CGI, Panoramic of London - Thames and the new London Bridge. March 2014

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