Network Rail has opened its new ”70m ($144m) domestic station within St Pancras International.
The station will enable First Capital Connect Trains to call at St Pancras for the first time instead of King”s Cross Thameslink.
The route serves Luton and Gatwick airports, and this means improved accessibility for the large number of people travelling with luggage. The station has bigger platforms and dedicated customer service staff, many of whom will speak more than one language.
”The new station will improve the daily journey to work for the thousands of passengers, providing extra capacity and better transport links,” said Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly.
”It means we can tackle overcrowding and deliver longer trains under the ”5.5bn ($11.2 bn) Thameslink modernisation scheme.”
Passengers from outer London stations such as St Albans, Luton, Croyden and Brighton will be able to connect directly with Eurostar services and the London Underground network, cutting journey times.
”This is the latest piece of the jigsaw in transforming one of London”s most prestigious stations,” said Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher. ”It will enable passengers to travel more easily to and from Europe ” Luton to Lille and Brighton to Brussels has never been easier.”
First Group plc chief executive Moir Lockhead said: ”Capital Connect customers have struggled with the limitations of the King”s Cross Thameslink station for a long time, so we are thrilled that our customers are now able to travel to and from a fully accessible, state of the art facility.”
And Kelly added: ”This is the latest instalment in the package of improvements for rail passengers, after the recent opening of the new high-speed line to the continent. And more will follow, as we are spending ”1bn ($2.04 bn) to improve the tube and mainline stations at Kings Cross.”