Blackfriars station
Blackfriars station, also known as London Blackfriars, is a London Underground and National Rail station in the City of London, England. It is adjacent to Blackfriars Bridge at the junction of New Bridge Street and Queen Victoria Street and is in Travelcard Zone 1. The Underground station is closed to all passengers until December 2011 while refurbishment and major engineering works take place.

National Rail

The mainline railway station was opened as St Paul's by the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) on 10 May 1886 when it opened the St Pauls Railway Bridge across the River Thames. The St Paul's bridge was constructed to supplement the LC&DR's existing Blackfriars railway bridge, which had opened in 1864. This carried trains on the LC&DR's busy City Line from south London into the LC&DR stations at Ludgate Hill, Holborn Viaduct and, via the Snow Hill tunnel and a connection to the Metropolitan Railway near Farringdon, on to London King's Cross and St Pancras stations. After the opening of St Paul's station, the earlier LC&DR Blackfriars Bridge station on the south side of the river was closed to passenger traffic on 1 October 1885 and became a goods-only station. St Paul's station was renamed Blackfriars on 1 February 1937. Gradually, the structure of the original Blackfriars railway bridge deteriorated until it was unsound. The bridge deck was removed in 1985 and only the piers in the river and the orange bridge abutments remain. The station was rebuilt along with the Underground station in the mid 1970s and was formally reopened on 30 November 1977. A part of the stonework elevation from the 1886 LC&DR station has been preserved at platform level in the mainline station indicating many destinations in the south-east of England and in Europe. St Paul's Bridge is now known as the Blackfriars Railway Bridge.

This station is currently served by through services on the Thameslink route operated by First Capital Connect and Southeastern. This includes trains from Bedford, St Albans City and Luton in the north; and Brighton, Sutton and Sevenoaks in the south. Trains travelling south from the station run via London Bridge or Elephant & Castle and trains to the north next call at City Thameslink. Before March 2009 some services from the south terminated at three bay platforms, which have been removed in renovation works. Although a through station, for ticketing purposes, it is considered a central London railway terminus for journeys from the south.

Service patterns

London Underground
The London Underground station is on the Circle and District lines, between Temple and Mansion House. It pre-dates the mainline station by 16 years. It is closed from 2nd March 2009 until mid December 2011 for rebuilding work.

The station was opened on 30 May 1870 by the Metropolitan District Railway (MDR; now the District and Circle lines) as the railway's new eastern terminus when the line was extended from Westminster. The construction of the new section of the MDR was planned in conjunction with the building of the Victoria Embankment and was achieved by the cut and cover method of roofing over a shallow trench. The MDR connected to the Metropolitan Railway (MR, later the Metropolitan Line) at South Kensington and, although the two companies were rivals, each company operated its trains over the other's tracks in a joint service known as the "Inner Circle". On 3 July 1871 the MDR was extended eastwards to a new terminus at Mansion House. On 1 February 1872, the MDR opened a northwards branch from Earl's Court to connect to the West London Extension Joint Railway (WLEJR, now the West London Line), which it connected to at Addison Road (now Kensington (Olympia)). From that date the " Outer Circle" service began running over the MDR's tracks. The service was run by the North London Railway (NLR) from its terminus at Broad Street (now demolished) in the City of London via the North London Line to Willesden Junction station, then the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House. From 1 August 1872, the " Middle Circle" service began operations through the station, running from Moorgate along the MR's tracks on the north side of the Inner Circle to Paddington then over the Hammersmith & City Railway (H&CR) track to Latimer Road then, via a now demolished link, to the West London Line to Addison Road and the MDR to Mansion House. The service was operated jointly by the H&CR and the MDR. On 30 June 1900, the Middle Circle service was withdrawn between Earl's Court and Mansion House and on 31 December 1908, the Outer Circle service was withdrawn from the MDR tracks. In 1949, the Metropolitan Line operated Inner Circle route was given its own identity on the tube map as the Circle Line.

Service patterns

River connections
The station is located on the north bank of the River Thames. The platforms for the Thameslink rail services extend out over the River Thames on to Blackfriars Railway Bridge. Blackfriars Bridge runs parallel to the rail bridge. Because of its proximity to the river, interchange with London River Services commuter boats is possible from Blackfriars Millennium Pier. Services from this pier include boats to Putney, operated by Thames Executive Charters, and services between Embankment and Woolwich Arsenal, operated by Thames Clippers.

Transport links
London Bus route 45, 63, 100, 388 and night route N63.

Current developments

Station rebuild
Blackfriars station is being rebuilt. The office building above has been demolished and will be replaced as part of the Thameslink programme. The new station will be the same height and will house a shared National Rail/ LUL ticket hall and LUL ventilation shaft together with escalators and lifts between a mezzanine level for National Rail services and the sub-surface level for London Underground services. The LUL station will also see major enhancements, with a new roof of glazed north lights and partial-height glazed side panels to be installed along the entire length of the bridge. A station entrance will also be created at Bankside, where a second ticket hall will be provided. The mainline station will remain open during the remainder of this work, but the Underground station is closed until mid December 2011. The through platforms will be extended along Blackfriars Railway Bridge over the River Thames to accommodate twelve-car trains (in place of eight today). Platform layout will be altered by building new platforms on the west side avoiding the need for trains between City Thameslink and London Bridge to cross the lines that lead to the terminus platforms. The works will exploit the disused piers which lie west of the existing railway bridge and which once supported the former West Blackfriars and St Paul’s Railway Bridge. The easternmost line of disused piers will be strengthened, tied into the existing bridge and clad in stone. The number of bay platforms will be reduced from three to two in the process, but some terminating services will become through services, and the increased length will allow longer trains to terminate at Blackfriars. The existing subway entrance to Blackfriars station will be permanently closed as a result of the Thameslink Programme. The project is being designed by Jacobs and Tony Gee and Partners and built by Balfour Beatty. By January 2011 the eastern half of the station's new roof had been erected, and First Capital Connect services began using the newly constructed platforms on the east side of the bridge, where the former bay platforms used to be. Work is now proceeding on the western side of the station to remove the original Thameslink platforms and widen the bridge to provide space for the new terminus platforms. By the end of 2011, all four platforms are expected to have reached Bankside where the station's new ticket hall is currently being constructed. Network Rail is considering renaming the station when work is complete, one option being "Blackfriars & Bankside". The reason for the renaming suggestion is to emphasise that the new station will span the Thames and have entrances on both the north and south sides of the river.

Former stations
Immediately across the river on the same line was Blackfriars Bridge railway station, which accepted passengers from 1864 to 1885 and goods up to 1964. The station has been demolished but the entrance driveway remains. Further down Blackfriars Road is the entrance to an earlier Blackfriars station which operated from 1864 to 1868 as part of the competing South Eastern Railway. The bricked up entrance and preserved engraved station name can be seen under the railway bridge carrying the railway between London Bridge and Waterloo East over Blackfriars Road. At track level the space occupied by the platforms can be seen.

Other information
The Waterloo & City Line, between Waterloo and Bank, runs almost directly under Blackfriars station and there have been suggestions to construct an interchange station for the line at Blackfriars. The Department for Transport considers this to have "no significant transport benefit". The Cambridge Buskers started here.

Preceding station National Rail Following station City Thameslink Farringdon on Sundays First Capital Connect Thameslink Bedford-Brighton London Bridge First Capital Connect Thameslink Sutton Loop Elephant & Castle City Thameslink First Capital Connect Northbound Elephant & Castle Southeastern Southbound Bedford-Sevenoaks Disused railways Ludgate Hill London, Chatham & Dover Railway City Branch Blackfriars Bridge Holborn Viaduct British Rail Southern Region City Line Elephant & Castle Closed 2009-2011 Preceding station London Underground Following station Circle line District line


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