• Capabilities: Engineering
  • Sectors: Transportation , Rail and Urban Transport
  • Region: United Kingdom

London Bridge Station

London, United Kingdom - The upgrade plans for London Bridge Station are part of Network Rail’s £6.5bn Thameslink Programme and one of the most complex and ambitious rail station redevelopments in the UK to date. As the fourth busiest station in the country, increased capacity has been provided by creating new platforms for more trains, building a new concourse, and developing a bigger and better station for passengers. Crucially, as a key part of the rail network it was not possible to close the whole station. This meant that the £1bn upgrade plan had to be undertaken while the station continued to handle up to 52 million passenger journeys a year.

£1bn

station redevelopment

66%

increase in passenger capacity

Picture © Rick Roxburgh

London Bridge differs from many other major London stations in that it acts as both a terminus and a ‘through station’ to central London. This meant that to increase capacity and alleviate bottlenecks as trains come into and pass through the station, the team needed to completely reconfigure the track layout, designing a safe change from six through and nine terminus platforms to nine through and six terminus, without causing major disruption to passengers. 

This was achieved via the phased demolition of the old platforms and the arches below. Working progressively from north to south, platforms were brought back into use on a staged basis, each one coming into service before the next stage of works commenced. 

Work also included the creation of a brand new street-level concourse, allowing passengers to access all of the platforms from one place. When completed, the concourse will be two-thirds larger than before, forming an area the size of the pitch at Wembley stadium. 

Retail was an important part of the design, with the layout of the station configured to allow for up to 70,000 sq. ft. of retail space. This has been focused in the ‘non-pay’ sections of the stations, helping it to become a destination for the local area as well as for passengers passing through. It is expected that the transformation of this essential station will act as a catalyst for the wider redevelopment of the area, not only enhancing the experience of passengers, but also highlighting the wider value inherent in transport and associated infrastructure.



Picture © Rick Roxburgh

Bringing the redevelopment plans at London Bridge to life required a considered design that not only accommodated a significant increase in passenger numbers, but also acknowledged the station’s iconic status as a key transport hub, both in scale and in its unique heritage location. 

This meant that some elements of London Bridge were maintained, or refurbished. For example, in the Western Arcade the quadripartite arches were seen as a grand feature of the old station. These were mostly demolished and then rebuilt to a similar design, but with modern construction methods to ensure they would hold the necessary loads.  

To meet the requirements of the planning authority, the design incorporates an iconic and futuristic looking roof formed of sculpted canopies. MEP plant was also hidden in a specially designed MEP spine within the station. These requirements created significant challenges in delivering the phased construction within the available blockades. These were solved by the whole team using an innovative modular canopy and precast platform solution; components were constructed off site and assembled quickly on site allowing us to successfully achieve the ambitious construction programme. New assets had to be fully commissioned and in operation before the next phase could start.

Arcadis is the Lead Design Organisation, in a 50:50 Joint Venture with WSP. Throughout the redevelopment, the entire team have been co-located in one office next to the station, with the design team peaking at over 240 full time equivalent staff.  

Upon completion, the redevelopment will allow for a significant improvement in train frequency, increasing from 16 trains per hour to 24 trains per hour, along with greatly improved facilities and space for 95 million passenger journeys a year - 66% more passengers than the station was originally equipped to handle. 


Outcomes

£1bn

station redevelopment

66%

increase in passenger capacity

24

trains per hour

Questions about this project

Mac Alghita

Head of Infrastructure +44 (0)7909 537 870 Ask me a question