Network Rail’s Thameslink Programme Director SIMON BLANCHFLOWER tells PHILIP SHERRATT how the benefits of the scheme are just around the corner
2018 will be a historic year for London’s railways – the opening of the Elizabeth Line will coincide with delivery of most of the improvements arising from the Thameslink Programme – some 30 years after the first Thameslink services ran across London. By December 2019 the core section between Blackfriars and St Pancras International will host 24 trains per hour, with brand new Class 700 trains providing more capacity and direct links to more destinations. Farringdon will become a major transport hub linking to the Elizabeth Line, while the major redevelopments at other stations are a key driver of regeneration in the capital. But although the brand-new Elizabeth Line may steal many of the headlines, Thameslink will have overcome arguably greater challenges by working around existing infrastructure and continuing train services while delivering a significant capacity boost.