London, United Kingdom - The upgrade work at London Bridge Station is 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.
66%increase in passenger capacity
Picture © Rick RoxburghLondon 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.
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.
66%increase in passenger capacity
24trains per hour
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