The newly enlarged and improved Farringdon station was opened marking a major part of the first phase of the Thameslink project being completed, coinciding with the commencement of the Winter 2012 timetable.
Life for tens of thousands of passengers a day was radically altered for the better following three years disruptive work at Farringdon.
The transformation of this key London interchange station became clearly evident on December 12 with the opening of the well-lit huge and airy 1600 square metre new ticket hall, longer and wider platforms allowing 12-carriage trains to call.
The first 12 car train to call there was the 0658hrs Bedford to Brighton service. Network Rail has lengthened platforms at 13 other stations on the Thameslink route building 4km of extra platforms. Signalling and power supply improvements have also been upgraded resulting in 160km of new power cable being laid to provide the power consumed by longer trains and extra signalling.
Most of this upgrade work was carried out overnight and at weekends to reduce disruption to weekday passengers.
From 2018 Thameslink, Crossrail and London Underground services will be making full use of the new facilities at Farringdon when the station may well become London’s largest transport hub.
New passenger walkways have been provided within the station to cope with the increased number of passengers and a new entrance has been in operation in Turnmill Street on the east side of the station. This has eased pressure on the old Victorian built entrance and exit which will remain closed for upgrade until February for upgrade.
The new trainshed roof was completed a few months ago in essence, re-instating the Victorian one demolished decades ago.
Extending Farringdon’s platforms was not easy as the southbound platform was built across the former Moorgate line while the northbound platform was extended at both ends of the existing platform. A new emergency passenger exit has been built off the island platform which will also ease any evacuation pressures.
This has all been accomplished in restricted hours to avoid affecting train services within a tightly constrained area, with the station itself a listed building and all the constraints that this brings.