Work is set to begin this weekend to connect Thameslink’s Canal Tunnels to the national network, allowing First Capital Connect services to travel beyond King’s Cross to central London and the south of England.

Once connected the tunnels, which run beneath the Regents Canal between King’s Cross and St Pancras International, will link services from Cambridge and Peterborough to the Thameslink route, creating new direct services through London to Gatwick, Brighton and Kent.

This weekend, track work will begin on the East Coast main line at the entrance of the tunnels.

The tunnels, which were built during the redevelopment of St Pancras in 2005-2006, are essential for Thameslink to deliver its aim of providing 24 services an hour in each direction.

Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route managing director for London and the south east, said: “The tunnels are just as important as the redevelopment of London Bridge station in helping to deliver capacity benefits in and out of London. They will also provide a range of journeys between the south coast and East Anglia which were previously not possible.

“Thameslink will transform the railway across London and the south east, providing passengers with longer trains, more seats and a better level of service to meet the ever increasing demands placed on the rail network.”

Progress continues to be made on other elements of the £6 billion programme as well.

In June, an order for 1,140 new carriages was finally finalised with manufacturer Siemens and work is still underway on a major revamp of London Bridge station.

The work being carried out within the Canal Tunnels was covered by The Rail Engineer in March last year.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Whilst this is good news, it should have been done and ready to go with the fitting out of The Box (St Pancras Thameslink Station) from day one and the service and aesthetics programme built up. The whole thing is so long winded and strung out, as to just be routine renewal and a few bits and bobs dressed up and sold as ‘new/news’ yes and no! Extending Thameslink to Northampton as per the 2003 recommendation of the Government Sponsored London South Midlands Multi Modal Study, would bring immediate capacity gains to London radial lines and West Coast Main Line South of Rugby and Northampton. More information richard.brta@yahoo.co.uk.
    Thank you.

  2. I want to see the detail of the timetables for this. It is potentially terrible news for many thousands of commuters that might find their services split between St Pancras and Kings Cross, where they used to be able to rely on going to just one station. Given how easy it is to switch between Kings Cross and St Pancras if you want to do that journey, I can think of far, far better uses for the money that this project is costing.

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