City Thameslink station is about to undergo a major facelift as part of the £5.5bn Thameslink rail upgrade. Network Rail is investing £4.5m to improve infrastructure at the station, which is a key gateway to the City of London and is used by more than seven million passengers each year.
Central to the upgrade is the extension of the platforms to accommodate new, longer 12-car trains which will provide a massive boost to capacity with 50% more seats. The station will also be made brighter thanks to improvements to lighting on the platforms and safer with an upgrade of station information and security systems. Getting in, out of and around the station will be made easier too with the addition of a new ticket gate at the Ludgate entrance and improved signage.
Jim Crawford, Network Rail’s major programme director for Thameslink, said: “The congestion-busting Thameslink upgrade will give passengers what they want – longer trains, more seats and better stations. City Thameslink will play an important role both during and after the major investment that we are making to upgrade one of the country’s busiest and most vital rail routes. This investment will make the station brighter, safer and able to handle the extra passengers that the new, longer trains will bring.”
Karen Boswell, Customer Services Director at First Capital Connect, said: "City Thameslink is one of our busiest stations and we are delighted that our customers will be able to benefit from much improved facilities. Disruption for customers will be kept to an absolute minimum with most of the work carried out late at night and at weekends. With work well underway at nearby Blackfriars, together these are two significant projects that indicate that the Thameslink Programme is really gathering momentum."
The work is scheduled to begin in August and will take approximately 18 months to complete. Much of the work will be invisible to the public, specifically taking place out of hours and behind hoarding lines to minimise any possible impact on passengers.
The station upgrade will be undertaken by Giffen Group plc, which was recently awarded the major maintenance and engineering contract by Network Rail. The work complements extensive redevelopment and improvement work that is being carried out along the entire Thameslink route.
At nearby Blackfriars station a massive multi-million pound redevelopment of the station is underway which will see it become the first to span the Thames, providing a link to the cultural hub of the South Bank for the very first time. And at Farringdon, extensive remodelling of the station will see longer platforms, new station roofing, a new entrance and new concourse facilities for tube and rail services, including future Crossrail services.
Notes to editors
City Thameslink station (originally named St Paul’s Thameslink) opened in May 1990. It is owned by Network Rail and managed by First Capital Connect.
The Thameslink Programme is a £5.5bn investment in improved rail infrastructure and new rolling stock. It will deliver more capacity, and more journey options for passengers travelling through or to London from the north and south.
In all, work will be required at 50 stations with some 4km of additional platform length being constructed (that’s around eight times the length of Brighton Pier and around double the length of the runway at Luton Airport).
Major works will be required in central London with new stations being built at Blackfriars (where the new station will span the Thames, providing direct National Rail access to both the north and south banks) and London Bridge. Farringdon station too will see big changes with longer platforms, a new footbridge, new station roofing and new concourse facilities for both London Underground and National Rail services.
Major works will also be required at Borough and east of London Bridge station to both improve capacity and provide a more streamlined track layout to prevent the delays caused when trains on the busiest lines have to cross each others paths.
In all the Thameslink Programme will deliver:
• 50% longer trains across the current Thameslink route (by 2012)
• New direct services, to new destinations on the Thameslink route (e.g. Cambridge to Gatwick)
• A reduction in overcrowding on the Underground, with three times as many trains travelling between St Pancras International and Blackfriars every hour (an increase from 8 to up to 24 by 2015)
• New stations and an end to bottlenecks at Blackfriars (by 2012) and London Bridge (by 2015)
• New trains across the Thameslink route – an entirely new fleet by 2015
• Platform extensions and other improvements at around 50 stations outside of central London (by 2012)
About Network Rail
Network Rail is the not for dividend owner and operator of Britain's railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations - the largest of which we also manage. We aim to provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use. www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk