Passengers using London Bridge have been warned to expect severe disruptions for up to four years as the station is redeveloped. Today Network Rail was showing off the first two new platforms to be completed.
They said the ongoing work would provide 'tremendous benefits' to passengers. But as Luke Hanrahan reports, for some it comes at a significant cost.
The long term benefits of the redevelopment of London Bridge station to passengers will be "tremendous" despite the disruption to services, a minister has said.
Network Rail have released images of the two new platforms scheduled to open next week as part of the £6.5 billion redevelopment.
Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said:
Thameslink is vital if we are to deliver a transport network fit for the 21st century, providing more seats across the morning peak and better connections across the south east.
The London Bridge redevelopment is at the heart of this project and I am pleased to see progress is being made with the opening of these two new platforms.
Whilst there will be disruption, the benefits to passengers in the long term will be tremendous.
Developers behind the renovation of London Bridge station claim the extensive work will result in a "bigger and brighter station" which will transform north-south travel through London.
The work, due to be completed in 2018, will enable trains to run with "Tube-like frequency" every two to three minutes, Network Rail claims.
Passengers will be able to travel more efficiently and make easier connections to other rail services as a result of the improved facilities.
When complete, the station will be longer than the Shard is tall while the entire length of the platforms will be covered by undulating canopies of steel and aluminum.
Dave Ward, Network Rail route managing director, said: “This huge investment in rebuilding London Bridge station will transform rail travel in London for millions of people across London and the south east.
"By 2018, London Bridge will be the most modern station in Britain with more space, better connections and great facilities."
The first phase of the extensive redevelopment of London Bridge railway station is on course to finish next week but passengers have been warned to expect further disruption as renovations continue.
Two new platforms will be brought into use on March 31 before another two are closed for the next stage of the process.
The station is being redeveloped as part of the Government-sponsored £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme which developers claim will remove bottlenecks to enable a more efficient service and to reduce the pressure on the Underground.
The continued overhaul of the station, which began in May 2013, will result in disruption to passengers in late March, August and December.