Thameslink platform extensions complete: Longer trains to follow

18th Nov 2011

Over the last four years, Network Rail has lengthened 41 platforms at 12 stations on the Midland main line between Bedford and West Hampstead by more than 2½ miles in total. The longer platforms will enable the busiest trains at the busiest times of the day to be increased from eight cars to 12, resulting in a 50% boost in capacity on those services.

Jim Crawford, Network Rail’s major programme director for Thameslink, said: “The completion of the platform extensions marks a major milestone in the Thameslink construction programme and will allow longer trains to run from next month as planned.

“As well as more seats and less congestion at the busiest times of the day, passengers have more to look forward to next year with the new stations at Blackfriars and Farringdon opening. This will provide a huge improvement to facilities and access at these two important London stations.”

David Statham, First Capital Connect projects director, added: “Network Rail has done a great job extending platforms north of London in time for our new timetable on 12 December.

“This first phase of the Thameslink programme means we can now run our first longer trains. The next phase will see a new train fleet delivered in 2015 which will create many more longer services.”


First Capital Connect will lengthen its first services from eight to 12 carriages on 12 December this year. There will be three in the morning rush hour from Bedford and one service from Brighton with the same number home again in the evening.

To find out which services will benefit and where the longer trains will stop, visit


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