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Royal reopening for London Bridge

The Duke of Cambridge has reopened London Bridge station following its £1bn transformation.

Prince William officially reopened the country’s fourth busiest railway station yesterday after a five year rail and building programme that has almost doubled capacity and provided 30% more connections.

The £7bn Thameslink programme, funded by the Department for Transport, has created a street-level station concourse big enough to lay the Shard down inside - the largest in the UK - to enable passengers to make their connections smoothly.

Work has included a major track upgrade, a new rail underpass on the approach to the station and platform widenings and extensions, meaning 30% more trains can use the station than previously.

The Duke of Cambridge arrived at London Bridge station on a new Siemens Class 700 Thameslink train where he met transport secretary, Chris Grayling and Network Rail’s chief executive, Mark Carne.

The work has meant that passengers can now access all 15 platforms from a single concourse for the first time in over 150 years. The platforms have been completely rebuilt with three more through platforms helping to service the stations on the north side of the Thames and the number of terminating platforms reduced to six.

There are two platforms dedicated to the Thameslink service, which Network Rail says will allow a significant uplift in the services able to stop and pass through the station, carrying more carriages than before.

Transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “Thanks to government-sponsored investment, London Bridge station will be the beating heart of the Thameslink, offering thousands of commuters more frequent and reliable services, with modern new trains using pioneering world-first technology to enable better journeys across the entire route.”

Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail, added: “This station has been rebuilt from its Victorian foundations upwards by a team of engineers while still providing a service for the 48 million people who use the station every year to deliver it on the very day we said we would five years ago.

He added that the station represents a transformation in passenger experience and is “a catalyst for economic growth and a world first in the use of Digital Railway technology demonstrating our vision of the future.”

David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, commented: “The project not only modernises a vital transport hub, it creates a new focal point on the South Bank that boasts more retail units than any other Network Rail managed station.

“We’re excited about this growing and improving retail offer and providing a destination where people can travel, shop, eat and socialise."

Top image: Network Rail


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