Phase two of the £6 billion Thameslink programme has been launched today (October 29) at London Bridge station.
Work is now due to start on the station’s redevelopment, which once complete in 2018, will give London Bridge the largest concourse in the UK.
Phase two of the project also includes construction work on the track and signalling on seven miles of railway in south east London around London Bridge station.
Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations at Network Rail, said: “This will be the most ambitious redevelopment of any London station in a generation and one of the most technically demanding projects ever undertaken on our railway.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Passenger numbers have risen on an unprecedented scale in recent years and are now at their highest since the 1920s. It is absolutely essential that we keep pace with this growth, which is why the Government is funding a massive programme of investment in our railways.
“Train passengers will be the biggest winners from this investment as London Bridge station is transformed from one of the capital’s most congested stations into one of the most modern, accessible and passenger-friendly transport hubs in the UK.”
The timings of many Southern services to and from London Bridge will change from December 9 as a result of the redevelopment works.
Between 2014 to 2018 Thameslink route services to and from central London will be diverted away from London Bridge.
In a joint statement, train operators First Capital Connect, Southeastern and Southern said: “This project will mean more trains and better journeys for passengers. A critical part of the plans is providing passengers with good information. That’s why we are looking to build on some of the best practice seen during London 2012, and launching a new campaign – supported by the whole industry – to promote awareness.
“We thank passengers for their understanding and patience whilst these essential improvement works are being delivered.”
Consultation events are being held throughout the end of October and November to show how the project will impact on stations around the capital.