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Thameslink project on the right track

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Tom Edwards Tom Edwards | 11:17 UK time, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

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It does seem to bob along below the headlines - there is probably a little Thameslink fatigue because it has been in gestation so long.

So here's a little footage on the ongoing Thameslink project which seems to be going to plan so far.

The footage is of the work extending two platforms at Elstree & Borehamwood station by 70m each. It was completed in a single weekend, a record time.

It's all part of the £6bn investment in the Thameslink route.

Expect longer trains by December and new trains by 2018.

The Network Rail Press Release says:

Platforms at stations along the Thameslink route are being extended by a combined 4km - longer than the runway at Luton airport. Network Rail has already completed over 70% of this work, ready for the introduction of 50% longer trains in December 2011 and the introduction of a new trains in 2018.

Longer trains formed of additional existing carriages will begin calling at stations between Bedford and St Albans from December this year, which is expected to reduce the number of people on board services for Elstree & Borehamwood. The first longer 12-carriage trains are expected to start calling at the station in December 2018 once a fleet of new trains has been built and delivered into service.

David Statham, projects director for First Capital Connect which operates Thameslink route services, said:

"This December we'll use additional existing carriages to introduce our first handful of 50% longer 12-carriage trains.

"These will be targeted to relieve the busiest services that run fast between Bedford and Brighton, providing, in turn, some relief to those services calling at Elstree & Borehamwood.

"From December 2018 a brand new fleet of trains will be fully online, allowing 12-carriage trains to call at Elstree & Borehamwood for the first time, providing still further relief for congested services."

Follow me on Twitter: @TomSEdwards


  • Comment number 1.

    Unsutable for people under 16? why on earth did I have to click a box to verify my age for a video with no sound and only showed construction works?

    Still an interesting video.

    And as to why it it bobs belowe the headlines perhaps because there have been very few (if any) problems with the construction and all is running to time and budget?

  • Comment number 2.

    @magnificentpolarbear -- It's not really on time. The project was originally known as "Thameslink 2000", which gives an indication of the projected completion date, and how far back it has slipped.

  • Comment number 3.

    Magnificent - I'm afraid I have no idea why - I was also asked....!
    Is the reason they seem to be managing the upgrade quite well because they bit the bullet and did block closures of stations like Blackfriars?? And maybe commuters adapt quite quickly and prefer it to the seemingly endless weekend closures on the tube?

  • Comment number 4.

    Let's hope First Group lose the franchise. I have the misfortune to have to work at Elstree a couple of times a month and the horrible colour of FCC's trains always leaves me feeling sick. Horrid pink and blue, same goes for the stations too.

  • Comment number 5.

    Despite the large sums given by train operators to trendy design and image studios why is it that the end result so often looks as if they had in fact spent no money and given the CEO's primary age children the brief?

  • Comment number 6.

    Don't you hate it when some PR guff says "Enough track to reach half way to the moon" or "Platform extensions longer than the runway at Luton" … which is no big shout by the way. The Luton runway is actually pretty short, a lot passengers walk (and/or) bus more than that to and from the stations each day. To echo the previous post, It would have been nice to apologise, that the Thameslink 2000 upgrade is a decade late and explain that if it only takes a weekend to complete a station, why will it take 6 years for the whole line?

    How about this for a PR stat? - After 7pm, the Thameslink (FCC) service has always been / and is hopeless. 30 mins between trains is not acceptable.

    Another stat to throw out … Cricklewood station is the most forsaken and unwelcoming on the line. Ney…in the whole South East. Unless other readers know better. Take a camera crew there after 8pm on a November night and watch the haunted look in the commuters eyes, while they wait for delayed service in horizontal rain


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