Royal Opening for London Bridge Station

London Bridge StationLondon Bridge Station was recently reopened by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William after a five year, £1billion transformation by Network Rail, nearly doubling its passenger capacity and providing faster connections for passengers.

The Thameslink route, created in partnership between the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Govia Thameslink Railway, Southeastern and Siemens, runs north – south through London between Bedford and Brighton connecting 138 stations, and is now the largest street-level station concourse in the UK.

The complex redevelopment has included a major track upgrade, a new rail underpass, platform widenings and extensions, 15 new platforms plus 80 shops, bars and cafes. The works were completed in phases over five years to ensure the station remained operational throughout.

Freyssinet was enlisted by Principal Contractor Costain to supply bridge bearings and Shock Transmission Units (STUs) on the project. As much of the station is elevated on bridge structures, bearings were required to support the force and movement of each structure. Freyssinet supplied 428 bridge bearings in total- the CE marked products were designed and manufactured to BS EN 1337, and able to resist vertical forces of between 1000 and 5000kN.

Freyssinet supplied STUs on the scheme

Freyssinet also supplied 16 STUs, designed to BS EN 15129 and CE marked. As trains exert high breaking forces, and many of the bridge structures were separated by movement joints, it was decided at design stage to install STUs across some of the joints to share the horizontal reaction between adjacent structures. An STU allows normal thermal expansion and contraction across a joint, but if an overload occurs from braking, the piston inside the device locks up so that the unit transmits the horizontal force across the joint, sharing the reaction.

At the grand opening of London Bridge Station, Prince William arrived on a new Siemens Class 700 Thameslink train, where he met the Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP and Mark Carne, Chief Executive of Network Rail. His Royal Highness then toured the new station concourse and met groups of apprentices, project leaders and staff involved in the redevelopment.

Mark Carne, Chief Executive of Network Rail, said: “This station has been rebuilt from its Victorian foundations upwards by a team of engineers while still providing a service for the 48 million people who use the station every year to deliver it on the very day we said we would five years ago… I give my thanks to the great people and great teams behind this fantastic project, as well as to our customers for their patience and understanding during these major works.”