Network Rail has announced the award of two key contracts for the rebuilding of London Bridge station and associated track and signalling to remove a large bottleneck on the Thameslink route.
The London Bridge rebuilding scheme is really within the second part of the Thameslink upgrade project upgrading the north-south through route across London.
Currently, trains run between Bedford, Luton and Brighton, and into Kent via London Bridge and the revised station layout and signalling will ultimately allow 24 trains per hour to be operated through London. Platforms have also been upgraded to enable 12-car trains to run adding 50% more seats than now in the 8-car trains.
Costain has won the contract for the detailed design and delivery of the station redevelopment which is worth an estimated £400m. The track will be remodelled by Balfour Beatty Rail in the other contract award worth around £50m and they will be working with Invensys Rail who will be carrying out signalling renewals for the new layout.
Planning Approval will have to be obtained for the provision of a new street-level concourse and to demolish the listed Trainshed, the original station which is below the through lines to Charing Cross and Blackfriars.
Several new platforms will also be built helping the train service operate smoothly and increasing capacity. The new station is intended to be able to cope with 66% more passengers than today but work will not start until after the Olympics next year with completion targeted for 2018.
'The way London Bridge evolved since the mid-1800s left us with a station and a track layout which makes it increasingly difficult to provide the capacity and reliability passengers expect today', said Simon Kirby, Managing Director of Investment Projects at Network Rail. 'The Thameslink Programme allows the tracks, platforms and station layout at London Bridge to be completely redesigned, boosting the number of trains that can run, unblocking the bottleneck and providing a modern and dynamic station which will make a real improvement for passengers.'