Passengers who travel to London Bridge on Southeastern’s Charing Cross trains will have to take different routes to the station from this Monday as the next stage of the massive station rebuilding takes shape.
In addition, improvement work to the tracks means that there are no Southeastern trains to Charing Cross, Waterloo East and Cannon Street and very few to London Bridge this weekend (January 10-11) only. Southern and Thameslink services will operate as usual.
Work is about to begin on platforms on the north side of the station, where trains run through to Charing Cross and Waterloo East, as part of the £6.5bn Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme. The complete rebuilding of London Bridge rail station is a key part of the project to improve services and destinations on the north/south route through central London.
Programme Director Simon Blanchflower said: “Passengers will have seen London Bridge changing around them over the past year or so and this next step brings us closer to our goal of creating a fantastic new station for London. However, as we begin rebuilding platforms 5 and 6, there will be no Charing Cross trains able to call at the station between now and August 2016.
“We realise this will mean big changes to some people’s journeys and we have worked with operators across the industry, including Transport for London, to make sure people can plan their new journeys and get to their destinations without extra cost.”
Network Rail has apologised to passengers following disruption this week when a new timetable was introduced for Southern and Thameslink trains at London Bridge. As a result, the company is reviewing the services after this week and has made changes to ease crowding on the station concourse, including new customer information screens and more staff.
From January to the end of August 2016, National Rail tickets to and from London terminals issued by Southeastern, Thameslink and Southern trains will be accepted at selected Underground stations in South London without extra charge. New tickets need to be issued to some season ticket holders before 12 January 2015, to allow them to be used on the Transport for London network.
London Bridge Underground station is not affected, however Tube and Overground services in South London may be significantly more crowded as result of the works at London Bridge mainline station, particularly at the busiest times.
The changes at London Bridge have also meant a complete change to Southeastern’s train times and routes across Kent.
David Statham, managing director of Southeastern, said: “The project to rebuild London Bridge station will provide a brand new station with a concourse the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium, new journey opportunities to the north and south of England, and it will untangle the railway lines to remove the bottleneck we experience today.
“This will however, mean our passengers, particularly those who use London Bridge station will need to change their travel patterns while the work is carried out. Our new timetable is designed to provide a service that meets demand at a time when track capacity has much reduced, whilst also providing new journey opportunities, longer trains and later services.
“We consulted with our customers and stakeholders to develop our plans and this timetable balances the competing needs of passengers with the infrastructure constraints.”