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.
This project is part of our London Railway Upgrade Plan, creating new connections and increasing capacity in peak hour by 30%.
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.
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.
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:
Christmas and New Year – Saturday 23 December 2017 to Monday 1 January 2018
This Christmas, between Saturday 23 December and Monday 1 January 2018 inclusive, there will be closures and changes to services.
During this time there will be fewer trains into London and your journey will take longer, especially during the three working days (27 -29 December)
- From Saturday 23 December until Monday 1 January 2018, there will be changes to rail services across London and the south-east while Network Rail continues to transform north-south travel through London as part of the Thameslink Programme.
- Southeastern, Thameslink, Gatwick Express and Southern services will all be affected as well as other train operators, with no National Rail services running on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
- Southeastern services will not run to or from Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo East, London Bridge, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park, New Cross and St Johns for the entire period of 23 December to 1 January.
- Thameslink services will not run through central London. Trains will be terminating at Blackfriars, Victoria or London Bridge (from the south) and St Pancras International (from the north) from 23 December to 1 January. There will be no Thameslink service at either City Thameslink or Farringdon.
- A reduced Southern service will operate to and from London Bridge from 23 December to 1 January. There will be no train service at Redhill.
- Buses will replace trains between Purley and Horley via Redhill and between Redhill and Tonbridge/ Reigate. A reduced train service will continue to operate between London, Gatwick and the South Coast but not calling at Redhill.
- A reduced timetable will run between Victoria and Gatwick Airport from 23 December to 1 January, with no trains at all on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, although a replacement bus service will be available on Boxing Day. Please allow extra time for your journey.
- Train services to other London airports and St Pancras International will also be affected by closures so, please check your journey before you travel.
Due to the significant work over these periods, your regular journey may not be possible. Please start considering your Plan B in advance.
Please check our station by station travel advice that is available now at www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/2017.