Dateline: 26 April 2011 

London Bridge Station

IMAGE: The newly installed line of ticket gates on the main concourse of London Bridge Station, 5 August 2011.

 

New Developments

Signs that London Bridge Station is changing are [May 2011] already evident. As the Shard of Glass takes shape, the side of the station concourse that backs onto the Shard is already being adapted.

Outside the station, where there was once a very overbearing bus station, the whole roof and most of the supports were removed around April 2011. When all the building work is completed, the buses will stand almost under the railway viaduct, on the roadway where buses approach the station from Borough High Street. The stand will therefore be at 90 degrees to the previous alignment of where the buses currently stand.

The weekend of the 1 May 2011 saw the lifting into position of the new two-line Borough Railway Bridge, spanning the Borough High Street. Each end of the bridge will eventually be connected up with two new railway lines which will run alongside the present four railway lines which extend west out of London Bridge Station.

When all the work has been completed, existing platforms 1 to 6 will become nine platforms for through-trains. The nine existing platforms for trains terminating at London Bridge Station will be reduced to six.

Pedestrian access to the through-platforms will be via escalators which will replace the tiresome ramps.

 

Plans for the New Station

A new station, designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, is planned for the existing site. The greatest problem for the contractors is that all the work will have to be carried out while the passengers continue to use the trains that run in and out the platforms.

A new ground-level concourse will be created which will have a major impact on the surrounding area. It will include the demolition of the South Eastern Railway building, on the south side of Tooley Street.

The Weston Street and Stainer Street tunnels will both be closed to traffic.

The Weston Street tunnel, currently closed for Network Rail survey works, will disappear completely and become part of the new station concourse.

Although much has been made of the new 70 metre by 150 metre concourse, plans show that more than half of it will be behind the ticket barriers so public circulation space will be more limited than before.

Stainer Street will be retained as a separate entity but it will become a pedestrian-only route. It will remain open 24 hours a day, even when the station is closed.

The rebuilt station will be 10 metres longer from end to end than the height of the Shard. All platforms will be covered by new canopies that extend the full length of every platform on the station, meaning that no passenger should have to stand in the rain.

History of the Station

London Bridge is the oldest station in London and was first opened in 1836.

It was originally two stations and this is still apparent in the combination of through and terminal platforms. The through platforms lie on the Kent and South East London routes into Charing Cross and Cannon Street. The remaining platforms are the final stop for routes from Sussex and South London.

Today it serves over 42 million people every year.

 

Chronology

1836 • 14 December • The London and Greenwich Railway (later South East Railway) station opened. 

1839 • 5 June • The London and Croydon Railway station (later the London Brighton and South Coast Railway - LBSCR) opened. The London and Croydon Railway station had a wooden trussed pitched roof, spanning 56ft by 212ft.  The stations were joined in July 1844 and demolished six years later.

1851 • 3 January • The new South East Railway (SER) and London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) stations opened. The LBSCR station was demolished and rebuilt in 1853 then extended in 1866 (see 1866).

1861 • The terminus hotel was opened. It was turned into offices for the LBSCR in 1892 and demolished in 1941.

1864 • The original London and Greenwich platforms were demolished. In January 1864 new high level through platforms were opened to serve trains running through London Bridge Station, ending at Cannon Street Station and Charing Cross Station.

1866 • The LBSCR station had a one-span, trussed arch roof, measuring 88 feet by 655 feet, and was designed by J Hawkshaw and F D Banister.

1928 • The station was unified by the Southern region.

1978 • 15 September • British Rail undertook large scale rebuilding and a new station opened. Redevelopment of the station was undertaken by N G T Wikeley, regional architect for British Rail Southern.

2011 • 1 May • A new railway bridge was completed across Borough HIgh Street, beside the old four-track bridge, paving the way for additional trains to run west of London Bridge Station, using a new two-track viaduct.

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