A new timetable for London’s north-south Thameslink comes into force today marking the start of the major construction phase of the line’s £5.5bn upgrade.
As part of the improvement work, the Farringdon to Moorgate branch will close so that Network Rail can extend Farringdon’s platforms to accommodate longer 12-car trains. Blackfriars main line station remains open but the three terminating ‘bay’ platforms have been temporarily closed so work can begin on a completely new station - the first to span the River Thames with a new entrance on the South Bank serving the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and other top London destinations.
“The new timetable means more trains through the heart of London and gives us the green light to start major work at Farringdon and Blackfriars,” said Network Rail programme director Andy Mitchell.
“Even now, as we work day and night to build new stations and upgrade the railway, passengers are benefiting from more trains through London offering direct services to new destinations. This must be the first time that anyone has been able to actually increase the number of trains whilst carrying out a major upgrade of a busy capital city commuter line.
“Keeping the railway open for day to day business is crucial for London’s economy. With a project of this scale this represents a serious challenge and will require the whole industry to work together to keep our work on schedule and minimise disruption to passengers.”