Thameslink transformation gets green light

The Department for Transport and Department for Communities & Local Government have granted planning permission and legal powers to Network Rail to rebuild the Thameslink route.




The Department for Transport and Department for Communities & Local Government have granted planning permission and legal powers to Network Rail to rebuild the Thameslink route.



The Thameslink project will more than double passenger capacity on one of Europe’s busiest stretches of railway, the core route through London Bridge, Blackfriars and Farringdon. The scheme will also increase the number of stations used by direct north/south services by over 200 per cent and increase the possible length of trains from the present eight carriage services to 12.



The future of the £3.5bn project now rests on a funding decision. An early decision would enable Thameslink to deliver some of the improvements before the 2012 Olympics.



John Armitt, Network Rail’s Chief Executive, said: ‘This is a landmark decision that underlines growing confidence in Network Rail to deliver major improvements on Britain’s railways.



‘We are now one step closer to getting the green light for an essential congestion-beating rail project on one of the busiest parts of our network.’



The scheme will take estimated seven years to build with the ability to ‘pause’ the scheme for the Olympics. Thameslink said in a statement the project would start to deliver passenger benefits within the first three years.