Blackfriars: You're still thinking about the bad news, aren't you?

The planned new Blackfriars Station interior


Never a paper to look on the bright side, The Evening Standard reports that:

"Blackfriars Tube station is to close for two and a half years in one of the longest closures of a central London station. Rail chiefs said today the Square Mile station would shut in March next year and not reopen until late in 2011.

"More than 44,000 daily users of the station face long delays getting to and from work and will be forced to use other stations, lines or the bus. Circle and District line services will continue to run through the station but without stopping.

"It is promised the first phase of the Thameslink programme, which will virtually treble passenger capacity from the current 4,500 an hour to 12,000, will be completed for the 2012 Olympics... Blackfriars mainline improvement will include covered platforms stretching across the Thames rail bridge with the station the first to have entrances north and south of the river.

"By early 2012 Thameslink services will be lengthened from eight carriages to 12 between Bedford and central London and services doubled from eight to 16 per hour through central London."

Temple and Mansion House tube stations are both within a few hundred metres walk of Blackfriars

The good news for commuters from Crofton Park is that they can look forward to an additional 2 trains per hour during peak times.

Reader Ed sent us a copy of a letter from Malcolm Smith, Lewisham Council's Executive Director for Regeneration, which confirms that:

"The South London Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) was published by Network Rail in March 2008 and submitted to the Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR). It will become established 60 days after publication, unless the ORR issues a notice of objection. The recommendations of a RUS and the evidence contained within it, form an input in to decisions made by the Government and the railway industry. In terms of the Catford Loop Line, the following is proposed :

"From March 2009 services on this route will be extended to run north of Blackfriars, providing new journey opportunities. The Victoria Eastern to Bellingham service, which is recommended for introduction by December 2011, would provide an additional 2 in the peak and provide further new journey opportunities, and an increase in peak service frequencies on the route .

"Some working assumptions have also been made in relation to potential Thameslink services in 2015, although it should be emphasised that no detailed timetabling work has been undertaken and this proposes 4 stopping Thameslink services on this line."

18 comments:

nobbly brick said...

it's always reassuring to see 'regeneration' and the prospect of 'new journey opportunities' accompanied by an artists impression.

Wasn't Blackfriars Station and that line revamped about 15 years or so ago?

Tressilliana said...

When the Thameslink was first introduced in around 1990 our trains went through to Bedford and St Albans, which was very handy for me as it meant that I could get to Farringdon in one journey, but that stopped in the early 90s. Good to hear that that link will come back, and excellent news that we'll be able to get off south of the river. That will make Blackfriars a very handy stop indeed for the South Bank.

Monkeyboy said...

Possibly but this is not a tarting up excercise. The 'new' thameslink service is quiet different. Blackfriars mainline will extend across the thames, re-using the old bridge piers you can see by the present bridge. The underground station is being demolished down to platform level and rebuilt.

I'm involved with a small part of the 'enabling works' for LUL - Thameslink is actually a Network Rail job so when it's late blame them ok? It's a very complex job, logistically speaking. Having to keep the district line running will involve installing a steel shield over the tracks while the station is demolished. It's like open heart surgery while expecting the patient to be able to play table tennis at the same time.

Richard Elliot said...

Sounds like it will be fantastic when it is finsihed.

Anonymous said...

But... have they thought about how the signs should be displayed?

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, they will have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on that particular question!

Monkeyboy said...

LUL have a department that JUST does signs...no really. It's one of those things that if you get wrong can cause chaos, and actually be V dangerous.

By the way I have the London Underground font on my PC NewJohnston, should you want to invent some joke signs and surreptitiously introduce them to the Underground. I ought to get out more.

Alex said...

Can anyone confirm what will happen to the Sevonoaks service which picks me up at Crofton Park and terminates at Blackfriars? I had heard that these services would be going to City Thameslink station?

spincat said...

A lot of the reports I've read are slightly confusing because they refer to Blackfriars station being closed, when they actually just mean the underground station. Both are going to be developed but the overground station, I understand, will remain open - unlike the tube station - while the work is being carried out, though I imagine there will be problems on that line from time to time.

Despite possible disruption to mainline train services I am very much in favour of the work - I've seen the plans and they look good. Blackfriars is one of the grimmest stations in the UK and the very superficial works they have carried out in the past was simply to re-grim it.
Restoration of something similar to the old Thamelink service would be wonderful.

Headhunter said...

Tressilliana - Don't completely understand your post. Do you mean that Thameslink trains passing through Brockley used to stop on their way up to Bedford until the early 90s? I had no idea, I know that at the moment the whoosh on though and I change at London Bridge for trains to Luton.

I have re read the article but are you saying that these trains will once again stop at Brockley? That would be useful - is this actually the case?

The Brockley Telegraph said...

I think she/he was making a comparision with the new blackfrairs service on the mainline compared to the old one via london bridge.

The route maps are on the net. There is no stop at Brockley, but there is at Crofton Park.

Headhunter said...

So Thameslink trains will start stopping at Crofton Park on their way to Bedford? Can you post a link to the route map?

drakefell debaser said...

There is a map here which shows the routes: http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/imagelibrary/detail.asp?MediaDetailsID=1195

Does anyone know what all the work that is going on before New Cross Gate station is?

Tressilliana said...

Going by this thread, yes, that's what it sounds like, HH. Crofton Park - Nunhead - Peckham Rye - Denmark Hill - Elephant - Blackfriars - City Thameslink - Farringdon - Moorgate - St Pancras International/King's Cross - all points north to Bedford.

If it all happens it should be easy peasy to get to the Eurostar terminal from Crofton Park. Quicker than going from Brockley, I would say, as Crofton Park to St Pancras would be about 35 minutes with no changes. Maybe a touch more expensive as Crofton Park is in Zone 3.

Headhunter said...

That would be very useful, although I'm a bit of a distance from CP. I always gaze on as the Thameslink trains (or whatever moniker they go under these days) blast through Brockers when I'm heading north out of London. However the link to the map that DD posted says "possible destinations" or something

jon s said...

Nunhead will work for Telegraph Hill and the parts of Brockers west of the station, if this ever gets off the drawing board!

Danja said...

It's the new maintenance depot for the ELL (and new track and a bridge), DD.

drakefell debaser said...

Thanks Danja, i thought it might be but the scale of it made me wonder if there was something else going on. The new depot explains the large buildings

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