Southeastern commuters from Kent travel across new viaduct tracks into London terminals
PUBLISHED: 16:46 04 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:46 04 January 2016
This is what caused travel chaos on the rails over the festive season...
After 10 days of engineering work - which caused major headaches for Kent travellers heading into London during the festive period - a new viaduct has been brought into use at London Bridge, carrying trains to Charing Cross and Waterloo East.
It’s all part of the Thameslink programme’s rebuilding of the railway and station at London Bridge.
It saw no Southeastern trains calling at London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing Cross and Cannon Street.
Thameslink programme director Simon Blanchflower said: “I would like to thank passengers for their patience this Christmas and New Year while we brought our new viaduct and signalling system into use. With fewer passengers travelling than at other times of year, Christmas gives us the best opportunity to do this kind of major work.
“By opening Borough Viaduct, we have been able to take two existing tracks out of use for rebuilding, which is a crucial step in the ongoing reconstruction of London Bridge station. Platforms alongside those new tracks are rapidly taking shape and we are looking forward to opening new station concourse in August this year.”
Southeastern’s managing director, David Statham, said: “The work that took place over the Christmas period to bring a new viaduct into use meant we were unable to serve some of our main central London stations for ten days. I would like to say that I am extremely grateful to our passengers for their patience while this important work was carried out.”
The Christmas work at London Bridge was part of a £150m investment nationally by Network Rail, as part of its railway upgrade plan. More than 20,000 men and women worked through Christmas and New Year at more than 500 worksites.
Charing Cross trains are now running across the new Borough Viaduct, which was put in place in 2011. Those trains have been running through London Bridge without stopping since January 2015, but when the first half of the new London Bridge concourse opens after August this year, those services will begin calling again, using brand new fully-accessible platforms.
At the same time, Cannon Street trains will begin running through London Bridge without stopping, as their platforms will be taken out of use for rebuilding.