Southern entrance on Ludgate Hill
|Location||Holborn Viaduct / Ludgate Hill|
|Local authority||City of London|
|Number of platforms||2|
|National Rail annual entry and exit|
|1990||Opened as St. Paul's Thameslink|
|1991||Renamed City Thameslink|
|London transport portal|
City Thameslink is a central London railway station within the City of London, with entrances on Ludgate Hill and Holborn Viaduct. The station is on the Thameslink route between Blackfriars to the south and Farringdon to the north and, with St Pancras, is one of the four core stations on the Thameslink route.
The station opened in 1990 to replace Holborn Viaduct railway station. It was part of the Thameslink project that re-opened the Snow Hill Tunnel to provide a continuous north-south route across London. Originally named St. Paul's Thameslink, but to avoid confusion with the nearby St. Paul's tube station on the Central line, it was renamed City Thameslink the following year. The station was refurbished in 2010–11 to increase capacity, and the timetable was revised in 2018 with the introduction of automatic signalling.
Name and location
The station is near the western edge of the City of London, close to its border with the City of Westminster. It has two entrances, one on Ludgate Hill and another on Holborn Viaduct, both of which access the two platforms. It is one of the few main line stations in central London that does not have an interchange with the London Underground; it is roughly equidistant from Chancery Lane and St. Paul's on the Central line. A planned tube station in the immediate area, to be named Ludgate Circus, was ultimately never built.
Although City Thameslink is a through-station, for ticketing purposes it is classed as a London terminus for Thameslink services to and from the south. It is in Travelcard Zone 1 and one of the "core stations" on the Thameslink route, along with St. Pancras, Farringdon and Blackfriars. The name has come in for criticism as being uninspiring.
The Thameslink line opened in 1988 after the Snow Hill tunnel, closed to passengers since 1916, was re-opened to provide a through route to Farringdon and King's Cross from South London. Initially, trains used the approach viaduct for the now-closed Holborn Viaduct station. The new service was an immediate financial success, and it was decided to redevelop the Holborn Viaduct site with a new station and business complex. The work was part-financed by the London property developer Rosehaugh Stanhope.
Before Holborn Viaduct closed, a new line between Blackfriars and the tunnel was constructed on a different alignment slightly to the east and at a lower elevation, providing the opportunity to build 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) of office space above the station on a 4-acre (1.6 ha) site. City Thameslink was built to replace Holborn Viaduct station. The total cost was estimated at between £360 and £450 million. Because of a proposed routing for the second phase of the Jubilee line through the area, part of the station was built to allow for a future interchange.
The station was opened by British Rail on 29 May 1990 as St. Paul's Thameslink, and was renamed to City Thameslink on 30 September 1991 to avoid confusion with the St. Paul's Central line station on the London Underground, which is several hundred yards to the east, to the north of St Paul's Cathedral. It was the first station built in Central London in almost 100 years. The station was designed by SAS International, who designed the original walls and panelling.
In conjunction with construction of the new station, the area around the old Holborn Viaduct and Ludgate Hill stations was redeveloped and an old bridge across Ludgate Hill was removed. In 1992, following the demolition, an additional service tunnel was constructed connecting City Thameslink to Farringdon.
When the Thameslink franchise was awarded to First Capital Connect (FCC) in 2006, the Thameslink service was re-branded but City Thameslink was not renamed. By late 2010, FCC had reverted to the Thameslink name.
As part of the Thameslink Programme, an upgrade of City Thameslink station was completed in 2010. The upgrade was important because the closure of Blackfriars later in the year would lead to increased footfall. The platforms were made ready for future 12-carriage trains, and the passenger information system improved. New lighting, ticket gates and CCTV cameras were installed, and the service announcement system was upgraded to provide more accurate train times. SAS retrofitted the station interior, as they had done for the original 1990 construction, with enamel wall panels that fitted the original design specification.
In a 2014 report, London TravelWatch suggested an underground passageway linking City Thameslink to St Paul's tube station to provide an interchange with the Central line that would benefit passengers travelling from the Central Line catchment to Gatwick and Luton Airports.
In 2018, Govia City Thameslink announced a major timetable change, which was implemented that May. The changes included a half-hour service across Central London, connecting City Thameslink with Gatwick Airport and Luton Airport Parkway. The signalling was upgraded to support Automatic Train Operation through the station, along with the rest of the core Thameslink route, and British Rail Class 700 trains were introduced into the service. The following January, several evening services from City Thameslink to St Albans and Harpenden were reinstated, after a six-month absence.
The present Thameslink timetable was introduced in May 2018. The current off peak service is as follows:
- 4 tph to Brighton via Gatwick Airport
- 2 tph to Horsham via Gatwick Airport
- 2 tph to Gatwick Airport via Redhill
- 2 tph to Rainham via Greenwich, Charlton, Abbey Wood, Dartford, Gravesend and Gillingham
- 2 tph to Orpington
- 4 tph to Sutton, 2 tph via Wimbledon and 2 tph via Mitcham Junction.
- 4 tph to Bedford via St Pancras International, St Albans City, Luton Airport and Luton Town.
- 2 tph to Luton Town via St Pancras International, St Albans City and Luton Airport
- 4 tph to St Albans City via St Pancras International
- 2 tph to Kentish Town via St Pancras International
- 2 tph to Cambridge via St Pancras International, Stevenage and Hitchin
- 2 tph to Peterborough via St Pancras International, Stevenage and Hitchin
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
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- Sutton, Philip (8–21 February 1990). "Goodbye Holborn Viaduct – Hello St. Paul's Thameslink". RAIL. No. 115. EMAP National Publications. pp. 6–7. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.
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