See How They Run: TPftLA: Thameslink 2000

Purveyors of Transport Information to the Aristocracy since September 1998

CrossRail TL2k Chelney Central N S E W Heathrow Boats Access Guestbook

Scheme

Modification date

Thameslink 2000: Kings Lynn and Peterborough to The South via Blackfriars

2001 Nov 28 up

  • Official website with maps
  • Public Inquiry official website
  • Save Borough Market Campaign
  • My maps of the November 1997 plan and the June 1999 plan: the June 1999 map was still current at the time of the public inquiry in 2000
  • Most WAGN Kings Cross services would be diverted away from Kings Cross to join the Thameslink route via two new single-track tunnels under the Regent's Canal leading to a new segregated junction north of St Pancras. Kings Cross Thameslink would be replaced by a new deep-level St Pancras Thameslink, with a platform on each side of the tracks under Midland Road. Some Connex and SWT services would become part of Thameslink, thanks to capacity improvements east and west of London Bridge station
  • Railtrack's inquiry evidence stated that alternatives considered at length before being rejected as unviable were
    • a tunnel from Kings Cross to Bermondsey
    • routing via Elephant & Castle/Herne Hill instead of London Bridge
  • The current Thameslink and WAGN franchises will run out before completion of the project. However, the Connex South Eastern franchise was let for 15 years, so Connex will initially be exclusive bidders on services into South East London, but the bidding will be opened to competition if OPRAF are not happy with Connex's bid
  • In February 1996, this scheme received formal government approval
  • The authorisation to replace Kings Cross Thameslink with the new St Pancras Thameslink was contained in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act. Uncertainty over CTRL Section 2 made the future of Thameslink 2000 uncertain
  • John Gough in December 1998 - "Thameslink has an 11% passenger growth and is willing to invest up to 400m on 100 new trains if Railtrack will sell it the paths, but it reckons Railtrack to be bogged down over Thameslink 2000"
  • Peter Lawrence - "Railtrack, DETR & OPRAF entered into an agreement in April 1996. This sets out the obligations and deliverables on each party. If Railtrack do not build [the scheme, they] will have to return 200m to Government in exchange for debt write-off at flotation. The scheme will take 4 years to complete. Timescale envisaged [in January 1999]: public inquiry prior to consent perhaps 1st quarter 2000, decision on consent early 2001. Service start 2006"
  • In September 1999, Railtrack submitted modifications that improve interchange at Farringdon, widen the Thameslink platforms at Farringdon, and alter track in the London Bridge area to prevent capacity to Charing Cross from being restricted. A new 450-metre track between Lewisham Vale Junction and Tanners Hill Junction (between Lewisham station and London Bridge) was also added to the plan. The 1997 submission increased the number of through trains through London Bridge serving Cannon Street, Blackfriars and Charing Cross from 54 to 61 per peak hour in each direction, while the 1999 submission increases this to 70. This and the longer trains increase the capacity by 150 coaches in the busiest periods. The cost of the scheme had increased from 560m to 800m
  • On 9th December 1999, the government stated that the public inquiry will last from 27th June 2000 until Autumn 2000
  • In March 2000, Railtrack seemed to suggest that although the Thameslink 2000 network would be operating in 2006, some platform extensions would not be complete until 2007
  • In mid 2000, Railtrack stated that the plan included improved interchange at Finsbury Park and improved wheelchair access at London Bridge
  • From 27th June 2000 until 16th May 2001, the public inquiry took place. The inquiry evidence included a transport consultancy report which described the project as "shoddy" and "ill-thought-out". The feasibility of trebling trains through London Bridge was doubted
  • In November 2000, current Thameslink franchise holders submitted an indicative bid for the new franchise
  • In February 2001, Railtrack's financial difficulties in the aftermath of the Hatfield crash led to senior Railtrack sources unofficially stating that spending money on "such a risky project as Thameslink 2000 does not make sense in the current climate", but officially Railtrack denied that the project's status had changed
  • In May 2001, Railtrack denied wanting to pull out of the scheme on which it had already spent 100m. They expected the inspector to deliver his report in late 2002 and the government to take a further 6 months to decide. They expected construction to start in mid 2003 or mid 2004
  • On 22nd October 2001, London's transport commissioner was reported to have demanded an immediate start on CrossRail and Thameslink 2000, but three days later was reported to have warned that CrossRail and Thameslink 2000 must take secondplace to rebuilding and improving the existing network. There was not the expertise to do both, and investors scared by the recent collapse of Railtrack meant that there wasn't the cash to do both either

Central London

  • A travelator connecting the St Pancras Midland Road station with the tube ticket hall had been removed from the plan by late 2001. The new Thameslink platforms will therefore be as hard to reach from the tube lines as the current Kings Cross Thameslink
  • The plan includes extending the Farringdon platforms southward, cutting the tracks to Moorgate and so losing Thameslink services at Barbican and Moorgate, but the Corporation of London adamantly oppose this
  • Peter Lawrence - "Only 2000 people use the [peak only] Moorgate services daily, while total daily ridership on the current Thameslink network is around 100,000"
  • In July 1999, plans for Farringdon included widening the Thameslink platforms by moving the Circle Line slightly and narrowing Turnmill Street, which would become one-way southbound (by mid 2000, the plan to move the Circle Line had been scrapped). The Cowcross Street bridge would become pedestrian-only. A new Thameslink booking hall would be opened on the south side of Cowcross Street, opposite the London Underground ticket hall
  • The boundary between South London's third rail electrification and North London's overhead electrification is currently at Farringdon. This boundary would be moved to Blackfriars to minimise disruption when faulty trains fail to switch system
  • At Blackfriars, the 3 terminating platforms on the east side of the through line would be replaced by 2 terminating platforms on the west side of the through line. The existing platform area to the north side of the river would be occupied by the new s-bend taking the through line to the eastern half of the bridge, and the new platforms would stretch across the river to an additional ticket hall south of the Thames
  • In September 1999, The Franchising Director announced the following timetable for closures:
    • 31st December 2001: close all three terminating platforms at Blackfriars Station
    • 30th June 2003: close platforms 8, 9 and 10 at London Bridge Station
    • 30th September 2003: close Barbican and Moorgate Thameslink platforms (see below)
    • 29th May 2006: close King's Cross Thameslink Station (to be replaced by St Pancras Thameslink)
    • 2003: for six months (presumably from 30th September 2003?) Thameslink trains to and from the north will terminate at St Pancras (see below), and trains to and from the south will terminate at King's Cross Thameslink
  • In September 1999, Railtrack announced that Blackfriars will close for 4 weeks during the project (no date given)
  • In October 1999, Hertfordshire County Council withdrew their objection to the Moorgate branch closure
  • In mid 2000, the plan for London Bridge involved leaving platforms 1 to 5 and 11 to 16 in the same place. Platforms 6 to 10 would be replaced by new island platforms 6/7 and 8/9 on the same height as 1 to 5 (there would be no platform 10). Platforms 1 to 3 would receive Cannon Street trains, 4 and 5 would receive Thameslink trains, 6 to 9 would receive Charing Cross trains and 11 to 16 would receive terminating trains
  • In mid 2000, Railtrack stated that punctual departure from central area stations was so crucial to successful Thameslink 2000 operation that countdown clocks for drivers may be added to platform walls (as used in Hong Kong and Paris)
  • In mid 2000, Railtrack gave the following timetable:
    • January 2002 until December 2003: work on Blackfriars station
    • May 2002 until April 2006: work on London Bridge station
    • July 2002 until January 2004: construction of Borough Viaduct
    • October 2002 until April 2006: work on Farringdon station
    • A four week period before Easter 2003: trains will run through Blackfriars without stopping
    • April 2003 until January 2005: construction of Bermondsey Diveunder
    • First Quarter 2004: closure of the Moorgate branch
    • April 2005 until May 2006: fitting out St Pancras Midland Road station
  • In mid 2000, Railtrack described how the 70-metre Borough Viaduct will be built at Southwark Street. The completed viaduct will be manoeuvred along Southwark Street and Borough High Street during an Easter Bank Holiday
  • In September 2000, the London Transport Users Committee published a report about how closure of the Moorgate Branch could cause unacceptable crowding at Farringdon
  • In January 2001, London's Mayor stated that the scheme would provide up to 33000 additional seats within the central area during the weekday morning peak period
  • By June 2001, the plan to temporarily terminate trains from the north at St Pancras had been altered to terminate them at Kentish Town instead

Branches

  • Before 1996, British Rail considered including Milton Keynes, Stansted, Portsmouth and Faversham in the plan
  • A 1997 plan to serve Stansted was dropped before 1999: this 28m plan would have involved restoring the connections between Kentish Town and Upper Holloway and between South Tottenham and Tottenham Hale, as well as electrifying the tracks between Kentish Town and Tottenham Hale. See also plans for a standalone Stansted to St Pancras service
  • Between the TWA Order applications in 1997 and 1999, a review of destinations considered Heathrow, Stansted, Hertford East, Hayes (Kent), Caterham, Tattenham Corner and Dorking
  • In 1998, the plan to run Thameslink trains through Greenwich Borough to Dartford was (temporarily) removed from the scheme. This led to Greenwich Council formally opposing the scheme because trains from the borough would have to continue using Charing Cross and Cannon Street, and the Thameslink 2000 scheme (as envisaged at the time) would reduce capacity to these two termini
  • By June 1999, the two routes to Dartford were back in the scheme: the East Grinstead line had been added to the scheme, and the Leatherhead to Horsham branch had been dropped (the Three Bridges to Horsham branch was still included). Stops at Alexandra Palace, Cheam, Ewell East, Carshalton Beeches, Wallington, Waddon, Sydenham, Forest Hill, New Cross Gate had been removed from the scheme, and stops at Ashtead, Portslade, Lancing, West Worthing, Durrington-on-Sea, Goring-by-Sea had been added

Planned Frequencies

  • The planned frequencies are likely to change until the First Draft Development Timetable is available internally within Railtrack in December 1999
  • In June 1999 planned trains per peak hour / trains per off-peak hour on the branches on this map were as follows:
    South of the Thames
    North of the Thames
    • Dartford: 2/2 via Bexleyheath, 2/0 via Sidcup
    • Crayford to Hither Green: 2/0
    • New Cross: 4/2
    • Sevenoaks: 2/2 via Orpington, 2/0 via Otford
    • Bat & Ball to Denmark Hill: 2/0
    • East Grinstead to Sanderstead: 2/0
    • Eastbourne to Plumpton: 1/1
    • Littlehampton to Hove: 1/1
    • Brighton: 4/4
    • Haywards Heath: 6/6
    • Three Bridges: 4/4
    • Gatwick Airport: 8/8
    • Redhill: 4/4
    • East Croydon: 10/8
    • Sutton: 2/2 via Mitcham, 2/2 via W Croydon
    • London Bridge: 18/14
    • Streatham to Loughborough Junction: 4/4
    • Elephant & Castle: 6/4
    • Blackfriars to St Pancras: 24/18
    • Finsbury Park: 10/8
    • Welwyn Garden City: 2/4 (?)
    • Stevenage and Hitchin: 6/6
    • St Neots, Huntingdon and Peterboro: 4/2
    • Letchworth: 4/4
    • Ashwell & Morden: 2/1
    • Meldreth to Foxton: 2/1
    • Cambridge: 4/4
    • Waterbeach to Kings Lynn: 1/1
    • Kentish Town, Cricklewood, Hendon: 4/4
    • West Hampstead: 10/6
    • Mill Hill Broadway, Elstree: 8/4
    • Radlett: 6/4
    • St Albans: 12/8
    • Harpenden: 12/10
    • Luton Airport Parkway, Luton: 10/8
    • Leagrave, Flitwick: 6/4
    • Harlington 4/2
    • Bedford 8/8

    All other served stations would have 2 trains per hour per direction, peak and off-peak.
    Note that many of these stations would have other services, such as trains to Victoria or Blackfriars.

  • By July 1999, the following frequency modifications had been made: Faygate 2/0, Bedford 8/6, New Cross 4/4, Dartford 4/4. East Grinstead to Sanderstead 1/0 (other services to East Grinstead will run from Victoria), Earlswood (1/?), Durrington-on-Sea (1/?), Lancing (1/?)
  • In September 1999, Railtrack stated that the peak service would involve 14tph on the Midland Line and 10tph via Finsbury Park: the 1997 proposal had included an equal split on the two branches north of St Pancras
  • In mid 2000, Railtrack gave an "indicative" service plan (note that this contradicts the frequencies at each station listed above):

    Northern terminus

    Southern terminus

    Peak length

    Peak freq.

    Off-peak freq.

    Bedford (fast)

    Brighton (fast)

    12-car

    2

    2

    Bedford (fast)

    Brighton (slow)

    12-car

    2

    2

    Bedford (semi-fast)

    Dartford (via Sidcup)

    12-car

    2

    0

    Bedford (semi-fast)

    Dartford (via Bexleyheath)

    12-car

    2

    2

    Cambridge (slow)

    Eastbourne

    12-car

    1

    1

    Cambridge (slow)

    Littlehampton

    12-car

    1

    1

    Cambridge (fast)

    Ashford

    12-car

    1

    1

    Kings Lynn

    Ashford

    12-car (4-car north of Cambridge)

    1

    1

    Peterborough

    East Grinstead

    12-car (8-car south of Oxted)

    2

    0

    Peterborough

    Horsham

    12-car

    2

    2

    Letchworth

    Guildford (via Croydon)

    8-car

    2

    2

    Luton

    West Sutton (via Wimbledon)

    8-car

    2

    2

    Luton

    West Sutton (via Sutton)

    8-car

    2

    2

    St Albans

    Sevenoaks

    8-car

    2

    0

Train and Platform Lengths

  • In November 1997, Railtrack made a detailed planning request (viewable in Guildhall Library near St Paul's) which included lengthening 45 stations, some of which have been subsequently been removed from the plan
  • In April 1999, Railtrack stated that off-peak services would be 4-car or 8-car. In the peak, three-quarters would be 8-car, and one quarter would be 12-car: the 12-car trains would run as far as Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge, Ashford (direct), Oxted, Horsham, Eastbourne, Brighton and Littlehampton. 12-car stopping patterns were not given
  • In July 1999, Railtrack stated that 12-car trains to Oxted would continue to East Grinstead as shorter trains. An incomplete list of stations which would receive 12-car trains was New Cross (some 12-car), Dartford (some), Oxted (all), Biggleswade (some), Earlswood (some or all?)
  • In September 1999, an incomplete list of stations which would receive 12-car trains was Dartford, Earlswood, Eltham, Finsbury Park, Hither Green, Horsham, Mottingham, New Cross, St Neots, Salfords, Sanderstead, Sandy
  • In October 1999, Hertfordshire County Council requested 12-car platforms at Radlett, Letchworth and Royston
  • In mid 2000, Railtrack's evidence to the public inquiry stated that the following stations would have platforms extended (in alphabetical order, ignoring the central St Pancras to London Bridge trunk): Angmering (8 cars), Arlesey (12 cars), Balcombe (12), Bedford (12), Berwick (8), Biggleswade (12), Brighton (12), Cambridge (12), Cooksbridge (8), Dartford (12), Durrington-on-Sea (8), Earlswood (12), Eastbourne (12), East Croydon (12), Elephant & Castle (8), Elstree (12), Eltham (12), Finsbury Park (12), Flitwick (12), Foxton (8), Glynde (8), Goring-by-sea (8), Guildford (8), Hampden Park (8), Harlington (12), Harpenden (12), Haywards Heath (12), Hendon (8), Hither Green (12), Lancing (8), Leagrave (12), Littlehampton (12), Luton (12), Luton Airport Parkway (12), Meldreth (8), Mill Hill Broadway (12), Mottingham (12), New Cross (12), Oxted (12), Paddock Wood (12), Pluckley (12), Plumpton (8), Portslade (8), Saint Albans (12), Salfords (12), Sanderstead (12), Sandy (12), Shepreth (8), Three Bridges (12), Tonbridge (12), West Croydon (8), West Hampstead Thameslink (12)
  • In mid 2000, Railtrack stated that although all Thameslink 2000 services would operate from opening day, train lengths may initially be short and would grow over the years to reach the lengths described in the proposal

See How They Run: TPftLA: 1998-2001
1