Foundations for the first new rail station to be built on the South Bank in over 120 years are being laid as part of Network Rail’s landmark redevelopment of Blackfriars station.
Work on the new Blackfriars south station is integral to the £5.5bn congestion-busting Thameslink Programme and marks a major milestone in the life of a unique project that will create the first station to span the River Thames, and deliver more and better journey options to and through the capital for hundreds of thousands of passengers.
Located at the base of Blackfriars railway bridge, the south station will provide direct access to some of the area’s key local attractions east and west along the Thames Path, which include the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and The London Eye.
Featuring a new glazed concourse area with retail space and ticket facilities, entry to the new platforms that span the river, and improved use of the Thames Path through widening the pavement at this location, Blackfriars south station has been designed to meet the needs of all users.
Jim Crawford, Network Rail’s Thameslink major programme director, said: “Work on the south station marks an important milestone in the redevelopment of Blackfriars.
“The speed and efficiency of construction is fast changing the shape of the station, with exciting progress visible on a daily basis. By the end of 2011, it will be quicker and easier for passengers using Blackfriars to get to homes, businesses and tourist attractions in the South Bank and the surrounding area.”
Transport Minister Chris Mole said: “The new Thameslink and Underground stations at Blackfriars will provide an elegant solution to transport needs along this stretch of the Thames. From either side of the river, passengers will have access to dramatically improved facilities and be able to benefit from thousands more seats each day on brand new Thameslink trains.
“These stations will be important assets for London and I am pleased to see foundations being laid today to help sustain our city’s growth in the future.”
Councillor Jeff Hook, Mayor of Southwark, added: “It’s great that the south station at Blackfriars is taking such a big stride towards completion, because it will make such a difference to the users of this line. We’re pleased to have been able to work with Network Rail and support them in this unique and exciting project.”
Peter Kyle, chief executive of Shakespeare’s Globe, commented: “The new Blackfriars station promises a valuable link to the Bankside area, which is now well established as a thriving hub of cultural and leisure activities. As one of London’s leading tourist and heritage attractions, Shakespeare’s Globe welcomes the prospect of increased accessibility to the area and the opportunity to share the delights of this stretch of the Thames with even more visitors.”