Thameslink programme

Image showing the canopies of the completed stationWhat’s happening?

London Bridge is the fourth busiest station in the country, handling around 54 million passengers each year.
As part of the £6.5bn Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, London Bridge station is being rebuilt to provide dedicated platforms for up to 18 Thameslink trains an hour in each direction. There’ll be more space, with a concourse the size of the pitch at Wembley Stadium, and improved connections to more destinations.
The station is being rebuilt in phases with construction work at London Bridge station going well and on schedule.
Both London Bridge rail and Underground stations are open throughout, but Thameslink, Southern and Southeastern and London Overground customers have been and will continue to be, affected at certain times by substantial service changes until the project is completed in 2018.
Since the opening of the last two terminating platforms at London Bridge in January 2015, work has focused on the ‘through’ platforms and the creation of the new dedicated platforms and tracks for Charing Cross services.
Work on the dedicated Thameslink platforms is due to be completed and ready for passenger service in early 2018.

What have the impacts been?

We’re aware that the essential improvement works at London Bridge have had a substantial impact on customers, both in terms of their route, train services and changes to the station layout.
Network Rail and Southern have apologised for the delays over the past few months. Thameslink would also like to apologise if you've been caught up in any disruption.
For more information on this issue please visit the disruption page on the Thameslink Programme website.

What’s being done to address the problems?

Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway and Southern are working together to deliver a Performance Improvement Plan with realistic targets. Published on our websites, this plan sets out a realistic timeframe for delivering short, medium and long-term improvements.
Network Rail and Southern have made considerable efforts in improving the management at the station, including:
a crowd management plan
more staff (in hi-visibility tabards) and more customer assistance staff, with additional training and better equipment
more despatch staff at London Bridge and East Croydon
additional information screens installed, along with a revised timetable from 18 May

Where can I get more information?

For more information on the Thameslink Programme visit:, sign up for text or email alerts and follow @TLProgramme on Twitter
If you are concerned about services at the station, please visit the disruption page on the Thameslink Programme website.

What service changes are there during the London Bridge redevelopment?

During the station rebuild, we will be keeping our passengers informed about what is happening and help them understand how they can complete their journeys as easily as possible.

Please be aware that from 20 December 2014 until January 2018 there will be NO cross-London, Bedford to Brighton Thameslink trains to/from or through London Bridge. Instead they will take an alternative route between East Croydon and London Blackfriars.

From 5 January 2015 there will be a reduced off-peak service between Brighton and London Bridge with only a VERY limited service between these stations in the peak.

Click on the travel advice below for more information.

Passengers should be aware of the following:

  • London Bridge mainline rail station and Tube will remain open but Thameslink, London Overground, Southern, and Southeastern customers will be affected at certain times until the project is completed in 2018. Customers are urged to check to see how their journeys could be affected before travelling
  • From early January 2015, the track work taking place around London Bridge station will mean the Jubilee line at London Bridge, Southwark and Waterloo may be exceptionally busy, as National Rail customers use alternative routes to get to their destination. Passengers are advised to avoid Southwark or the Jubilee line unless absolutely necessary

Travel advice from 5 January 2015

Ticketing and travel

 From 5 January 2015 until January 2018

  • National Rail tickets tickets will be accepted on certain routes on London Overground, Thameslink, Southern, Southeastern, South West Trains, London Underground, Tramlink, DLR and London Buses.
  • Passengers with valid National Rail season and day tickets will be able to use Transport for London services from the following stations only: Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross, Southwark. Tickets will have to be shown to staff at ticket barriers
  • If passengers are using the rerouting advice provided, their ticket will be valid, but the ticket gate may not recognise it
  • If using Oyster Pay As You Go, passengers will be charged for any journeys on the Transport for London network as normal

New Class 700 trains on the network

The first new 12 carriage Siemens built Class 700 train went into service on Monday 20 June 2016 on the 10.02 Brighton to London Bridge service.

Capable of carrying up to 1,750 people, the intention is to run the 12-carriage trains in the peak from Brighton, meaning there’ll be at least 1,000 extra standard class seats from the town in the morning peak once the new fleet and timetable is introduced.

The new trains are 12 and 8 car fixed formation, meaning it cannot be split up into shorter units. Our existing Thameslink trains are made up of four-carriage units so they run as either 8s or 4s. The new trains are either 8s or 12s and cannot be split.

There are currently 17 trains in the UK (12 x 12 carriage and 5 x 8 carriage trains), undergoing testing or in service.

By the end of 2018, 115 trains will have been delivered and be into service on an expanded Thameslink network to additional destinations such as Peterborough and Cambridge.

The new Siemens trains will be stabled at the new purpose-built Three Bridges depot, which opened in August 2015 and the new Hornsey Depot, due to go into operation in July 2016.

The new Thameslink trains will transform journeys for our passengers, creating much-needed capacity on our busy commuter routes with 80% more seats across Central London by 2019. This, with other exciting improvements we are delivering, will add 10,000 more seats on services into London.

The trains will connect many new communities into the cross-London Thameslink route, creating fast, convenient direct services across the capital without the need to take the Tube – a new, direct service between Cambridge and Gatwick Airport, for example, will take just 1 hour 40 minutes and our services will connect with Crossrail at Farringdon every two-and-a-half minutes in the peak for trains to Heathrow.

They’re also cutting edge, with state of the art passenger information systems, excellent features for people with disabilities and – critically – high levels of reliability so that we can give our passengers a dependable punctual service.

The design of the Class 700 incorporates the feedback of UK train operators, passenger focus groups, train crew, cleaners and maintainers. Developed specifically to meet the demands of the Thameslink infrastructure programme - delivering high frequency, high capacity services - they will be more reliable and more energy efficient than existing rolling stock. Their lightweight design will mean less wear and tear on the tracks, saving money in maintaining the network.

The trains have undergone a rigorous testing schedule. Early last year the first Class 700 was put to the test in a special climate chamber, measuring its ability to withstand the effects of extreme ambient temperatures, solar gain, ice, snow and wind, thus ensuring the trains are up to the challenge of carrying commuters in and out of London, whatever the weather.

When will the Three Bridges and Hornsey depots be ready for service?

The purpose-built Three Bridges depot in Crawley, West Sussex, opened in August 2015, and has been key in undertaking train testing and maintenance and staff training, ensuring the first Class 700s could make it’s into service debut on 20 June.

The construction of the second depot in Hornsey, north London, is also well under way, with handover to GTR on course for July 2016.

More information

For the latest information please keep checking this website or, sign up for text or email alerts and follow @TLProgramme on Twitter. 

The video shows the Thameslink and London Bridge work in progress. Courtesy of Network Rail.