Christmas and New Year was no time of rest for hundreds of engineers and rail workers at London Bridge station in the UK capital. Completely closed for ten days over the festive break, it reopened this morning following an intense period of engineering work, the culmination of a £1bn redevelopment taking place over a five year period. Today is the first time that the station, which sees 54 million passenger travel through it each year, has been fully open since 2012. The final section of the huge, modern new concourse and the final five platforms opened for the first time, allowing Cannon Street trains to resume calling at the landmark new station.
Mark Carne, Chief Executive of Network Rail, the owner and infrastructure manager of most of Britain’s railway network told journalists today; “The opening of our landmark station is a shining example of the investment we are making in the railway. I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we transformed London Bridge into the modern transport hub it is today, with more trains to more destinations, connecting north-south London and beyond."
Since work began in 2013, London Bridge has been transformed by Network Rail ( @networkrail ) as part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, while remaining open for the 50 million passengers that use London’s oldest station each year. The vast new concourse, larger than the football pitch at Wembley Stadium, unites all fifteen platforms for the first time and modern facilities make the landmark station fully accessible for all.
From 2019, 24 trains per hour will be able to run at peak times through the central London core, and the station will have the ability to cope with 96m people.
There are two new entrances on Tooley Street, which will connect the north and south sides of the station, while the completion of the five new platforms will allow Cannon Street services to once again stop at London Bridge.
David Statham, Managing Director, Southeastern ( @Se_Railway ) whose trains use the station: “Today marks a major milestone in the transformation of London Bridge and rail transport across London. I’d like to thank our passengers for bearing with us throughout the past few years while the engineering works have been underway. As result, they will see new routes and more reliable Southeastern services, including new destinations, connecting communities between London and across Kent.”
The tracks through and around the station have been entirely remodelled to modernise the infrastructure and to allow more trains to travel through London, reducing delays and bringing more reliable journeys to more destinations than ever before.
Work is expected to continue on the station concourse until the spring and throughout 2018 new shops, cafes and leisure facilities will open, fuelling the reinvigoration of the area and improving the experiences of passengers every time they travel.
The development of London Bridge, was one of more than 260 projects, valued at over £160m, that were delivered across Britain over the Christmas and New Year period.
Thousands of new services and trains will soon start to come into operation this year as a result of this investment programme all aiming to bring faster journeys, more comfort and greater reliability to the 4.5m passengers who typically use the rail network daily in the UK.
You may also be interested in...