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Major milestones reached in Thameslink improvement works

Major milestones on the Thameslink upgrade were made this morning as the first 12-carriage trains made a journey this morning from Bedford to Brighton and Farringdon station opened its new ticket hall.

In total 14 stations have had their platforms lengthened and power systems and signalling demanding by the longer trains have also been upgraded and replaced.

The new 1,600m² Farringdon ticket hall has increased capacity for both Thameslink and future Crossrail services.

At Blackfriars station a new station entrance to the north opened after the southern entrance was opened last Monday, allowing passengers direct access to the South Bank and Bankside for the first time in 125 years.

All of the £6bn Thameslink improvements will be completed by 2018.

Timeline of Thameslink programme

September 2011
- Completion of first phase of major resignalling work across the route.

October 2011
- Work begins to install 4,400 solar panels on the roof of Blackfriars, creating London’s largest solar array

November 2011
- Completion of the award of the three London Bridge Area Partnership contracts for the track, signalling and station redevelopment at London Bridge.
- The final platform extension is completed, allowing longer trains to call at stations along the route.

December 2011
- First passengers use new Blackfriars entrance on the south bank of the Thames
- First 12-carriage Thameslink trains serve the route
- New northern entrance opens at Blackfriars
- New ticket hall comes into use at Farringdon
- New station for West Hampstead Thameslink opens

February 2012
- New London Underground stations open at Blackfriars and Farringdon

Summer 2012
- Completion of Key Output One, with major station upgrades and, capability for 12-carriage trains fully operational ahead of Olympic and Paralympic Games

2013
- Commencement of Key Output Two works, focused on redeveloping the station and railway at London Bridge.

2018
- Completion of the Thameslink programme, allowing a more frequent (metro style) rail service to and through the capital

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