Completion schedule published for Thameslink transport project
13 December 2011
Posted by Satvir Bhullar
A new timetable has been unveiled by Network Rail for the construction and completion of the £6 billion Thameslink infrastructure project.
The rail route, which will bisect London from west to east, is one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever carried out in Europe and is intended to transform travel by train in the capital.
According to the new schedule, work is due to reach completion on Thameslink in 2018, providing a more frequent and higher capacity service across the city.
Yesterday (December 12th) saw the first longer train, measuring 12 carriages, travel between Bedford and Brighton as part of the scheme.
The timetable shows that this month will see passengers use a new entrance to Blackfriars station, a new ticket hall commence operation at Farringdon and a new station for West Hampstead Thameslink open.
Important events in 2012 include the opening of new Tube stations, completion of Key Output One and 12-carriage trains in full operation ahead of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Extended platforms, power upgrades and new signalling have been put in place as part of a programme of work being carried out by Network Rail in preparation for the completion of the Thameslink service.
A total of 14 station platforms have been lengthened to accommodate longer trains and over 160 km of power cable laid to date, with most of the construction work conducted at night or weekends in order to minimize disruption.
"The pace of improvement for passengers as a result of the Thameslink Programme is really picking up now," stated Jim Crawford, Major Programme Director for the Thameslink Programme at Network Rail.
As part of its civil engineering efforts, the rail infrastructure group recently announced the launch of its new electrification train, which is intended to speed up operations across the network from autumn 2013 onwards when it commences work on the Great Western main line.
Developed over the past three years, the unique 23-vehicle resource is intended to transform the way in which lines are electrified by moving along sections of track and completing the whole work needed, including foundations, stanchions and overhead testing.