Tuesday 25 Nov 2014
Four weeks to go before cross-London Thameslink trains stop calling at London Bridge rail station
- South East
With only four weeks to go until cross-London Thameslink services stop calling at London Bridge railway station for three years, passengers are being urged to plan their alternative routes.
Up to 750,000 journeys will be affected every day across the southeast as Network Rail continues to rebuild London Bridge station as part of the £6.5bn government sponsored Thameslink Programme, which will allow more trains and better reliability on one of Europe’s busiest rail routes.
From Saturday 20 December 2014 until 2018, cross-London Bedford to Brighton Thameslink trains will take a different route around London Bridge to make way for the building work. Other Thameslink services return to London Bridge on 5 January 2015 – but only between London Bridge and Brighton, and on a reduced basis.
Keith Jipps, Customer Service Director for Thameslink, said: “We’re working hard together to make sure our passengers get the best travel advice and help during this massive project. We’ll have more staff out to help and lots of information – please check before you travel at ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk.”
Over Christmas, more than 1,200 Network Rail engineers will work around the clock, even on Christmas Day, to work on the station, opening new platforms for Southern services and modernising nearby track and signalling equipment that has been in use since the 1970s.
When the Programme is complete in 2018, Thameslink trains will no longer have to share platforms and tracks with other operators. Instead they will have dedicated platforms and a clear route through the station allowing a full service in the rush hour and an end to the bottleneck that delays services today.
Passengers can still reach their intended destination during the work – and the Underground station is unaffected - but they may need to modify their route and their journey may be busier and take longer than usual. Detailed travel advice has been published on ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk.
Simon Blanchflower, Thameslink programme director, said: “In the long run our work here will improve the journeys of millions of passengers across the south, but we understand that until we’ve finished some people may have to change their journey to or from London.
“We’ve worked very hard to make sure there are alternative routes so please plan ahead and find one that works for you. Thank you again for your patience.”
For passengers affected between Saturday 20 December and Sunday 4 January, valid National Rail tickets will be accepted on certain routes on London Overground, Thameslink, Southern, Southeastern, South West Trains, London Underground, Tramlink, DLR and London Buses.
From January to the end of August 2016, National Rail tickets to and from London terminals issued by Southeastern, Thameslink, Southern and South West trains will be accepted at limited Underground stations in South London without extra charge.
London Bridge Underground station is not affected by the work.
Some season tickets which expire after 4 January 2015 will need to be reissued to allow them to be used at selected Transport for London ticket gates. Operators are contacting season ticket holders to advise them of the process.
To plan your journey and check where your ticket will be accepted, visit ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk
Notes to editors
Changes in summary:
- From Monday 22 to Wednesday 24 December 2014, between 07:54 and 09:01, trains to Charing Cross will not call at London Bridge.
- From Monday 22 December, Monday to Friday services (three morning peak and three evening peak) between Ashford/Rochester and Bedford will terminate or start at Blackfriars.
- On Monday 12 January, 2015 a new timetable with major changes will come into place on Southeastern services.
- From Monday 12 January 2015 until August 2016, no Charing Cross services will call at London Bridge. Trains from Plumstead, Woolwich Dockyard, Belvedere and Erith will be diverted to Cannon Street
- From Monday 12 January 2015, onwards: Southeastern trains from New Cross, St. Johns, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park will be diverted to Cannon Street.
20 December 2014 to 4 January 2015
- No Southern or Thameslink trains will stop at London Bridge
- There will also be changes to other services, including Southern and Gatwick
- Express services to Victoria and London Overground and Underground
5 January 2015 to 2018
- No Bedford to Brighton cross-London Thameslink trains will call at London Bridge station
- A reduced service will run between Brighton and London Bridge in the off-peak and a very limited service will run in the peak
For more information please visit ThameslinkProgramme.co.uk or your train operator’s website:
- Southeastern - www.southeasternrailway.co.uk
- Thameslink - www.thameslinkrailway.com
- Southern - www.southernrailway.com
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For free text updates text TLP 12 and your home station to 60777
About the Thameslink Programme
The government-sponsored £6.5bn Thameslink Programme will transform north-south travel through London. When complete in 2018 it will give passengers:
- New, spacious trains running every 2 to 3 minutes through central London in the peak
- Improved connections and better options to more destinations on an expanded Thameslink network including Cambridge and Peterborough
- Robust new track and signalling systems offer more reliable journeys
- A completely rebuilt London Bridge station with more space and great facilities
London Bridge facts
- Over 117 million journeys a year go to London Bridge or through it to Cannon Street and Charing Cross – 54 million start or end their at London Bridge itself
- Platform 6 is the busiest in Europe serving 18 trains per hour
- The new concourse at London Bridge will be bigger than the pitch at Wembley, increasing passenger capacity by 65%
- London Bridge will be longer than the Shard is tall
- Up to 24 trains per hour will run in each direction, during the peak, between St Pancras and Blackfriars
- Up to 18 Thameslink trains an hour will run in each direction, during the peak, between London Bridge and St Pancras – currently there are none between 7.30 and 9am
- 178 years old – London Bridge is London’s oldest surviving rail terminus, first opened in Dec 1836
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.