Many of London’s tube and rail services have been undergoing extensive renovations and regeneration programs, with Blackfriars in EC4 sparking particular interest and debate. With so much going on at Blackfriars, Search Office Space is on hand to bring you all you need to know about the past, present and future plans for this pivotal transport link.
A Brief History of Blackfriars
In 1886 St Pauls Station was opened. This would later be rename Blackfriars Rail Station in 1937, which serves areas outside of London, including Brighton, Bedford, Sutton and Sevenoaks. The London Underground Station pre-dates the mainline station by 16 years, opening in 1870 as an eastern terminus serving Westminster, Victoria Embankment and Mansion House a year later. Blackfriars Tube Station is situated on the Circle and District Lines which provide access to Edgware, Ealing, Richmond, Wimbledon and Upminster, along with locations within the City of London and the West End. In March 2009, extensive works began on Blackfriars tube station, with passengers advised to use nearby stations, Temple and Mansion House.
On February 20th 2012, Blackfriars Underground Station re-opened after its 3 year closure under the £5.5bn Thameslink upgrade project. The redevelopment scheme also included a £350m project that saw Blackfriars become the first mainline station to span the River Thames.
Under the Thameslink upgrade project, improvements to the tube station included a larger ticket hall, increased capacity, refurbished platforms and step-free access. This means the new-look Blackfriars station will accommodate 60% more passengers and commuters on a daily basis.
The re-opening of this tube station saw a brand new entrance hall located on South Bank, providing excellent access to popular London destinations such as the Tate Modern and the National Theatre.
On-Going and Future Development of Blackfriars
May 2012 brings news of further re-openings at Blackfriars Station. on May 19th 2012, the North Bank National Rail ticket office is set to be unveiled, along with the renovated Platforms 3 & 4, ready for public service on May 21st.
By the summer of 2012, and in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, new solar roof panels will be added to the station, providing half of the stations’ energy requirements. This also hopes to be a trend setting feature for future London rail and tube station design.
Blackfriars will also see the first 12-carriage trains on the Thameslink route, thus providing more comfortable and convenient transport for commuters during rush hour.
Summary of London’s Future Rail Network
The Thameslink upgrade project also focuses on Farringdon and London Bridge Stations. Farringdon is set to become one of London’s most important transport hubs with over 150 trains passing through each hour. London Bridge Station will undergo a complete refurbishment allowing more passengers to pass through each day thanks to the new Borough viaduct.
Farringdon upgrades are set to be completed by this weekend (May 19th 2012), whilst London Bridge Station will be undergoing works up until 2018. The completion of Blackfriars Station upgrade is just around the corner, in time for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.