The reconstruction of London Bridge took a large stride forwards over the bank holiday weekend with the opening of large parts of the station’s new concourse.

Two thirds of the concourse, which once complete will be the same size as the pitch at Wembley, is now open to passengers.

The London Bridge rebuild has been ongoing since 2012 as part of Network Rail’s Thameslink programme.

Due to be completed in January 2018, the new-look London Bridge – designed by Arcadis WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff JV and architect Grimshaw – will have nine through platforms and six terminating platforms.

The reconstruction, which has been led by Network Rail and its principal contractor Costain, will ultimately unify what was the amalgamation of two stations built by rival railway companies in the 19th century.

Mark Carne, Network Rail’s chief executive, said: “This is a big step towards the bigger, better railway passengers deserve.

“The opening of two-thirds of the concourse marks a major milestone in the redevelopment of London Bridge and, while there is plenty still to do, I am pleased passengers can now see the benefits beginning to come through.

“We are essentially rebuilding Britain’s fourth busiest station – the tracks, the platforms and the infrastructure which enables trains to run – while keeping the station open and doing our best to keep passengers moving.”

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