1 November 2022, London Marriott Hotel County Hall
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
November 2022, Virtual
Work started today (24 October) on the multi-billion pound upgrade to the Thameslink service, with Luton Airport Parkway the first station to benefit.
All four platforms will be extended at Luton by 80m (262ft), while overall the ”5.5bn ($11.3bn) project will see the 23 stations earmarked for improvement, benefit from a total increase of 4km (2.5mi) in platform length.
The upgrade should mean that longer trains will be able to run on Thameslink routes, which will link into the new St Pancras International and Eurostar services to Europe.
Luton in particular, will be able to accommodate 50% more capacity, as well as extra services during the morning and evening rush hours.
Slated for completion by 2011 and ahead of the Olympic Games in London, Rail Minister Tom Harris, welcomed the start of work at Luton. ”Construction for the Thameslink modernisation scheme has started just three months after funding approval,” he said.
”It is work like this today that will deliver benefits to passengers across the South East in the future, including 50% longer trains from 2011.”
The Thameslink programme will be one of the largest rail projects ever undertaken in the UK and will see new services such as Cambridge-Gatwick launched, as well as increased capacity by adding three times as many trains travelling through London every hour.
”There are a number of measures to provide more seats in the short term,” said train operator First Capital Connect managing director, Elaine Holt,” adding: ”We will have another four trains on this route in December this year.
”However, in the long term, it is the Thameslink Programme that will deliver vastly increased capacity and will transform this route. When the entire Programme is complete, there will be 24 trains per hour though the heart of London, the majority of which will be brand new trains.”