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Blackfriars Thameslink upgrade underway

Work to upgrade to London’s Blackfriars station is underway, with tracks taken up at the east side of Blackfriars Bridge, and a temporary ticketing hall installed.

When complete in 2011, the new Blackfriars station will be the first in the capital to span the Thames, using the widened Blackfriars bridge as platforms, with new stations on both sides of the river.

Network Rail’s senior project manager for the Blackfriars upgrade, Dan Athol, said the £350M upgrade would be “challenging”.

“It will be the first new station on the south bank for more than 120 years,” he said. “There are trains above, and boats below, and we are working in the middle of London,” he said.

One milestone has already been achieved: “Key output zero is to open the temporary entrance, which has a large staircase.”

Preparations include removing the tracks on the eastern half of the bridge where trains normally terminate at Blackfriars.

The next major milestone is to construct a new bridge segment to allow for the slewing of tracks once work accelerates on the bridge, which will be slid into place around Christmas.

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