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The upgrade of the network on the cross-London Thameslink network will lead to delays for passengers in coming months. From December, the line between London”s Blackfriars and St Pancras stations will close every night between 22.30 and 04.30 and over most weekends, meaning that passengers will need to use the Tube system, on which tickets will be valid.
The closure is a precursor to work that begins in earnest next year on upgrading the line between Bedford and Brighton to allow longer trains and increased capacity.
From March 2 2009, Blackfriars Underground station will close to allow a huge redevelopment of the Blackfriars interchange. Work on the Tube station there will take until late 2011, while an extension of the overground station onto Blackfriars Bridge is due for completion in 2012. The new station will extend over the Thames onto the South Bank, where there will also be a new entrance to Blackfriars Underground.
Travellers on First Capital Connect to Moorgate and Barbican will also be affected by permanent cessation of services from March 1 2009.
The branch line is closing to allow Network Rail to extend platforms at Farringdon station. Because of the gradient to the north of Farringdon station, work to extend platforms there to cope with 12-carriage trains must take place to the south. This means it will extend over Farringdon Junction, necessitating the closure of the Moorgate branch line.
However, a deal with London Underground means passengers will pay the same to travel to Moorgate as to Farringdon for the following two years.
Farringdon station will also be subject to major works, meaning that platforms and walkways will be temporarily narrowed. This is scheduled to take three years.
A later phase of the ”5.5 billion project will include the revamping of London Bridge station, scheduled to take place between 2012 and 2015.