Behind the hoardings: A sneak peek at the London Bridge station building site

If you travel from Charlton to central London, you’ll almost certainly had your journeys affected by the Thameslink Programme, which is causing dramatic changes to the rail lines to London Bridge.

The end result will see London Bridge become a major hub for services to north as well as south London – with trains able to run to Peterborough and Cambridge with frequent services to Farringdon and St Pancras. Charlton is due to get a regular service to Luton Airport as part of the scheme.

As well as big changes to the track layout, this means London Bridge station is being completely rebuilt. Part of the new concourse opened last summer.

With another big closure due at the end of August, The Charlton Champion went behind the hoardings to see what’s happening as an army of engineers and construction workers race to finish the job off ahead of May 2018’s planned reopening.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

New entrances are being created – this is the station’s original taxi ramp.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

With new entrances come new retail and restaurant units…

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

This is the rest of the concourse, which is taking shape behind the hoardings. New entrances will open the station up to Tooley Street.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

The new concourse also unites the two halves of the station – the one which traditionally served SE London and Kent, and the other for trains to the rest of south London, Surrey and Sussex – for the first time. It’s a long way from the cramped 1970s tunnels of the old station.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

We’re up the top on platforms four and five. These will be for the new Thameslink services. There will be nine through platforms at the new station, up from six at the old one.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

Track on platform 5 awaiting being put in place. Platform 6, opposite, is due to open once this August’s major closure is over.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

Platforms 3 and 4 are awaiting ballast and rails.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

Back down we go…

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

This space underneath the station is being opened up to provide a new access to the London Underground. Again, there’ll be more retail and restaurant units here.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

This is outside the station’s main entrance by the Shard, and used to be a way into the Underground. When work is complete, there’ll be a new bar here.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

Some of the new entrance is starting to appear on Tooley Street.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

This new entrance on Tooley Street will provide easier access to More London, City Hall and Tower Bridge.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

What most people see now – the current concourse at London Bridge, with work taking place behind. The station is due to fully reopen in May 2018, with full Thameslink services beginning from December 2018.

London Bridge station, 27 July 2017

A view from the 72nd floor of the Shard, which should give an overview of the complexity of the trackwork involved in creating the new Thameslink lines.

As part of this, there will be severe disruption to services between Saturday 26 August and Saturday 2 September – including on four working days, when the lines to Charing Cross will be closed. There will be fewer trains from Charlton, and they will run to Cannon Street only (Victoria on the days when that is closed too). For more information, visit www.thameslinkprogramme.co.uk/2017.

There will also be serious disruption around Christmas and New Year.

Thanks to Network Rail and Team London Bridge for organising the tour.

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