Thameslink Programme

The government-sponsored Thameslink Programme is transforming north-south travel through London 

When the project is completed in 2018, journeys on some of the busiest routes in the country will be improved, with new spacious trains every two to three minutes through central London at peak times helping us meet the huge rise in demand for train travel.


During the work, there will be some changes to train services. For the latest information please visit the Thameslink Programme website or follow us on Twitter @TLProgramme.

This project is part of our London Railway Upgrade Plan, creating new connections and increasing capacity in peak hour by 30%.

Improved connections

More stations outside London will be connected to the Thameslink route, providing better travel options to more destinations. There will be a brand new rail hub at Farringdon connecting Thameslink and Crossrail and linking three major airports (Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton) and St Pancras International.

More reliable journeys

Trains will run every two to three minutes in each direction through central London at the busiest times. New track and modern trains will provide more reliable journeys. Plus we are untangling the track on the approaches to London Bridge station to reduce the time trains wait for platforms to clear and cut delays.

Better stations

We’ve completed work at Blackfriars and Farringdon and many other stations are more spacious, accessible and modern. Two-thirds of the huge new concourse at London Bridge station opened in August 2016. When complete, the station will be unrecognisable with a concourse bigger than the pitch at Wembley, providing the 56 million passengers who use London Bridge each year with more space, easier connections to other rail services and the Tube, as well as substantially better shops and facilities.

New trains

The new, spacious Siemens Class 700 trains will be longer and more energy-efficient. They will have more luggage space, improved access for people with reduced mobility, air conditioning and better travel information.

The rail industry delivering in partnership

Improvements to stations, track and signalling are being carried out by Network Rail working closely with train operators Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink to minimise disruption to passengers. Thameslink will manage the introduction of the new train fleet and depots as well as the transition to new automatic train operating systems in central London and the new link to the East Coast Mainline.

Keeping you moving: Plan B for bank holidays

There will be closures and changes to services over weekends and bank holidays in 2017 as we continue to rebuild London Bridge station and the surrounding railway. Always check for any engineering work before you travel.

When plan A isn’t an option anymore, you’ll need a plan B. It might be time to start thinking of other options, such as changing the time you travel, finding another route, cycling to work, or working from home. Or, if you are organising this year’s holiday, keep these dates in mind.

We will be carrying out work over the following weekends – please check before you travel:

August bank holiday – Saturday 26 August to Saturday 2 September

This summer, between Saturday 26 August and Saturday 2 September 2017 inclusive, there will be closures and changes to services as the Thameslink Programme continues to rebuild London Bridge station and the surrounding railway.

During this time there will be fewer trains into London and your journey will take longer, especially during the four working days (Tuesday 29 August to Friday 1 September).

In summary there will be:

  • no Southeastern trains to or from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge (including the four working days)
  • trains going to alternative London stations
  • no Southeastern trains to or from Cannon Street on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August and no Southeastern trains to or from Blackfriars on Monday 28 August and Saturday 2 September
  • reduced Southern service to or from London Bridge on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 August
  • for the four working days, trains running to Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Victoria and temporarily into Waterloo, maximising the opportunities for passengers who need to travel to get into central London
  • Southeastern high speed serving St Pancras as usual throughout (you will need a valid ticket to travel on high speed services; there is no ticket acceptance in place).

If you are travelling this August, you will need to make a plan B. Please check our station by station travel advice that is available now at

Christmas and New Year – Saturday 23 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018

There will be further major changes happening at Christmas, with no trains at a number of London stations. Passengers on Southeastern, Thameslink and Southern trains will be significantly affected.

Due to the significant work over these periods, your regular journey may not be possible. Please start considering your Plan B in advance.

Waterloo closure

Between 5 and 28 August 2017, fewer trains will run in and out of London Waterloo. This includes the busiest times of the day – the morning and evening peaks.

Platforms 1 to 4 will be extended so longer 10-carriage trains can stop at suburban stations for the first time. This will provide thousands of extra seats every day. Platforms 1 to 9 will be closed throughout this time so the work can be carried out. During this time, there will still be fewer services.

More information on the Waterloo and South West upgrade