Passengers in the South East reminded to plan ahead this August and early September as Network Rail carries out major improvement work as part of the Thameslink Programme: London Bridge

Tuesday 11 Jul 2017

Passengers in the South East reminded to plan ahead this August and early September as Network Rail carries out major improvement work as part of the Thameslink Programme

South East

Passengers in Kent, Sussex and south east London are urged to plan ahead for this summer, when major track and signalling work will take place over the August 2017 Bank Holiday weekend and the four working days after.

Between Saturday, 26 August and Saturday, 2 September, there will be no Southeastern services to or from London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross while Network Rail continues to rebuild London Bridge station and the surrounding railway, as part of the Thameslink Programme. On Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August there will be no Southeastern trains at Cannon Street and Blackfriars and fewer Southern services to London Bridge . There are other changes and closures over the bank holiday weekend that may affect passengers.

Since Easter, great progress has been made at London Bridge and the surrounding area. Network Rail continues to rebuild platforms 1 to 5 and both the final third of the street level concourse and the façade on what will be the Tooley Street entrance to the station are taking shape. Out on the track, the team has been laying down the new lines through platforms 1 and 2 and installing new signals and crossings around London Bridge and the wider Thameslink route.

This is all in preparation for August, when Network Rail will use the eight days to dig up the tracks that carry trains to and from Charing Cross and move them into their final layout, through the Bermondsey Dive Under, and connect them to the new signalling and control systems. This will mean that from January 2018, Southeastern and Southern services will be able to ‘dive under’ the new Thameslink lines, increasingly reliability and reducing delays for passengers.

Simon Blanchflower, Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme director, said: “I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we continue to rebuild the UK’s fourth busiest station and upgrade the railway to make it fit for the 21st Century. I strongly advise passengers to plan their journeys ahead and check before they travel as we build a better, more reliable railway with greater capacity for the millions of passengers that use it each year.”

Ellie Burrows, Southeastern’s Train Services director, said: "The closures mean we are unable to run our normal service and it will mean considerable disruption for our passengers, particularly for those four working days. We are doing everything we can to provide alternative journey options, and we'll be running longer trains where possible. But with the three major London stations closed there will be fewer services, queues are to be expected and trains that do run will be very busy. 

"We've been working very closely with Network Rail, TfL and the Department for Transport to plan for this and we've been giving passengers advance notice so they can plan ahead. We urge passengers to check how their journeys will be affected by visiting our website."

Throughout the August bank holiday and the four working days after, there will be fewer trains into London. Those that do run will be much busier than usual and will be diverted to other stations, including Victoria, Blackfriars, Cannon Street and London Waterloo International. Queuing systems will be in place in some stations and passengers should leave more time for their journey.  Passengers are strongly advised to plan ahead and visit for detailed travel advice.


Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Chris Denham
Media relations manager (South East route)
020 3357 7969
07515 626530

About Network Rail

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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