Network Rail announce major changes to London Bridge train services in 2014

Network Rail has advised passengers of planned changes to train services in and out of London Bridge during August 2014, which will affect First Capital Connect, Southern and some Southeastern services.

The major change to services for nine days between August 23 and 31, 2014, will allow Network Rail to complete the essential track improvements on the approach to the station. The rail network is also planning major line closures in addition to the widely advertised, phased platform closures.

Under the planned changes for next August, no Southern services will call at London Bridge, some First Capital Connect services will be rescheduled and some Southeastern services may be altered. A year’s notice is being given to allow passengers to prepare or make alternative travel arrangements.

Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route managing director for London and the south east said: ‘Rebuilding London Bridge is the biggest engineering challenge taking place on the railway and one of the most important stages of the Thameslink project which will unlock capacity through central London and beyond.

‘We have widely advertised the phased platform closures taking place but we also need a number of shorter, temporary closures to safely carry out extensive track work. The alternative to this would be significantly more periods of short closures over many weekends, which would cause much more disruption to passengers.

‘We are working closely with the train operating companies and Transport for London to provide information as early as possible and passengers can be reassured that everything is being done to keep disruption to a minimum.’

Network Rail has collaborated with the train companies to organise line closures over bank holidays and at other times of the year when train travel is traditionally at a lower rate. Underground and bus services will continue to serve as normal throughout the closures.

To inform passengers of the changes to train services, an exhibition is being organised at London Bridge during the week beginning September 2, 2013. The exhibition will also visit East Croydon station on September 17-18, and Brighton station on September 22-25.

In a joint statement, train operators First Capital Connect, Southern and Southeastern said: ‘The September station exhibition is another opportunity for us to talk with passengers about the Thameslink Programme.

‘We’re working together and with Network Rail and Transport for London to develop alternative travel arrangements for passengers and are committed to sharing this as far in advance as possible.

‘The Thameslink website – www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk – is where passengers can keep up to date with the Thameslink Programme and sign up for email alerts about changes that matter to them.’

The London Bridge station revamp is part of the GBP6bn Thameslink programme underway on the railway network. On completion in 2018, the redevelopment will see up to 24 trains per hour travelling through central London.