On track for 2018! All tracks surrounding landmark London Bridge station are now in place and ready for the New Year: PointsandShard

Monday 4 Dec 2017

On track for 2018! All tracks surrounding landmark London Bridge station are now in place and ready for the New Year

Route:
South East

Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme has reached another crucial milestone ahead of the New Year with the completion of all track work around London Bridge.

The infrastructure is now in place around the striking new station, ready to be brought into use on 2 January 2018 following ten days of major re-signalling, during which there will be major changes to services and line closures affecting London Bridge and other London stations.

Since work began in 2009, Network Rail has renewed and remodelled over 40km of railway that links London Bridge and Blackfriars to Lewisham and strengthened 35 bridges to support the tracks. The final piece of the puzzle was put into place on a foggy day in November, when Network Rail fitted the final set of points – which allow trains to move from one track to another – in Bermondsey. This was the last of 154 sets of points to be installed and it now connects the tracks through platform 4 at London Bridge, which will be used by Thameslink services from May 2018, to the flyover at Bermondsey.

Mark Somers, railway systems project director for the Thameslink Programme, said: “I am thrilled that we have successfully completed what has been the most complex track realignment the UK’s railway has ever seen. 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.”

Wendy Preston, commercial and supply chain manager for Vossloh Cogifer UK, which supplied 149 of the 154 sets of points used on the Thameslink Programme, said: “We have worked on the London Bridge scheme for the last five years, supplying 149 of the sets of points that have been used on the Thameslink Programme. It has been a challenging project but we are very proud to have been a part of such an amazing achievement.”

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, plus no Southeastern services at London Bridge, while Network Rail carries out extensive re-signalling and continues to work on the redevelopment of London Bridge station, ahead of the final third of the brand new concourse and platforms 1 – 5 opening on 2 January. Passengers are advised to check before they travel and make detailed travel plans by visiting www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/2017.

After the Christmas and New Year period the countdown to the completion of the transformation of London Bridge station begins. There will still be work to do in the station throughout 2018 but this will be completed during evenings and weekends, rather than working days. Once complete, London Bridge will be a modern, spacious and fully accessible station, fit for the 21st century and 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.

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Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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