The countdown to completion starts today as the first passengers use a new station entrance on the south bank of the River Thames. This will be followed by a new station entrance on the north bank on 12 December, with the first ever 12-car trains on the Thameslink route calling at Blackfriars on the same date. A new look London Underground station will open in February 2012, followed by a further two new national rail platforms in May.
Blackfriars Underground station, currently being completely rebuilt to provide space for more passengers and better access between Tube and rail services, had been scheduled to open at the end of December this year. Owing to complexities encountered by Network Rail during the construction and fit out of the new station, the reopening will now take place on Sunday 26 February 2012. The overall Blackfriars project remains on track to be delivered in summer 2012, and work has been scheduled so that passengers begin to benefit from new facilities this December while work continues behind the scenes.
Lindsay Vamplew, Network Rail’s project director for Blackfriars, said: “Our plan to transform Blackfriars station is nearing completion, and over the coming months passengers will begin to reap the benefits including new entrances, a new underground station, a better train service and direct connections to new parts of London including Bankside, Tate Modern and the South Bank.
“The Blackfriars project is a unique challenge, we’re simultaneously building a new Underground station, reconstructing a Victorian rail bridge and creating the first ever station to span the River Thames. While the overall project remains on schedule for completion next summer, we’ve taken the decision to postpone the opening of the Underground station until February, in order to give us the time we require to complete the job to the highest standard.”
Today will see the first commuters using the new station entrance on the south bank of the River Thames, benefitting from direct links to businesses and cultural attractions on the South Bank and Bankside. Blackfriars will be the first ever station to span the River Thames and the first new station on the south bank for 125 years.
The Blackfriars upgrade is part of the Thameslink Programme, which will see longer trains and more frequent services on the route from Bedford to Brighton through central London. The rebuild of Blackfriars station will dovetail with improvements at Farringdon and other stations along the route, including the planned reconstruction of London Bridge, to provide a metro-style service through central London, with trains running every 2 ½ minutes.
Also in Europe today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
London.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.