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London Bridge station is a National Rail and London Underground (tube) station in the London Borough of Southwarkmarker, which occupies a large area on two levels immediately south-east of London Bridgemarker and 1.6 miles (2.6 km) east of Charing Crossmarker. It is one of the oldest railway stations in the world and is the fourth busiest rail terminal in Londonmarker.

The main-line station is one of 18 railway stations managed by Network Rail and is a major transport terminus and interchange for south Londonmarker. It serves over 54 million people a year.

The tube station serves the Jubilee Line and the Bank branchmarker of the Northern Line. It consists of a ticket hall and entrance area with its main frontage on Tooley Streetmarker, along with entrances and exits on Borough High Streetmarker.

The station is in Travelcard Zone 1. London Bridge is one of two rail termini in London located south of the River Thames, the other being Waterloomarker. For this reason neither have a direct connection to the Circle Line.

All platforms are accessed through ticket barriers.

History

London Bridge Station is the oldest of the London railway termini, and has had a most complex history involving frequent rebuilding and changes of ownership.

London and Greenwich Railway station

Strictly speaking the London and Greenwich Railway stations at Spa Roadmarker (Bermondseymarker) and Deptfordmarker which opened on 8 February 1836, are the oldest railway stations in the present London metropolitan area. The opening of the line into the London Bridge Station in Tooley Streetmarker, south of the river Thames was delayed until 14 December 1836 due to delays in the completion of a bridge at Bermondseymarker Street..

The new station had a wooden trussed pitched roof, 56 ft by 212 ft (17 m by 65 m). However, prior to its completion, the railway had entered into an agreement with the proposed London and Croydon Railway for the latter to use its tracks from Corbett's Lane Bermondseymarker and to share its station at London Bridge. The Greenwich railway had however underestimated the cost of building the long viaduct leading to London Bridge Station and was not able to build a sufficiently large station for the traffic for both companies, and so in July 1836 it sold some land adjacent to its station (then still under construction) to the Croydon railway to build their own adjoining station..

London and Croydon Railway station

The London and Brighton Railway and the South Eastern Railway (SER) were also then planning routes from London to Brightonmarker and Dovermarker respectively, and British Parliament decided that the London and Greenwich line should become the entry corridor into London from South East England. Thus these two railways were required to share the route of the London and Croydon Railway from near Norwood, (which in turn shared the route of the London and Greenwich Railway from Bermondseymarker in to London Bridge). As a result, in 1838 the London and Croydon Railway obtained powers to enlarge the station it was then constructing at London Bridge, even before it had opened for traffic.

The London and Croydon Railway opened its line and began using its station on 5 June 1839, the London and Brighton Railway joined it in July 1841, followed by the South Eastern Railway in December 1842. Fairly quickly it was found that the viaduct approaching the station would be inadequate to deal with the traffic generated by four railways and so between 1840 and 1842 the Greenwich railway widened the viaduct doubling the number of tracks to four. The new lines, intended for the Croydon, Brighton and South Eastern trains, were situated on the south side of the existing Greenwich line, whereas their station was to the north of the London Bridge site, giving rise to an awkward and potentially dangerous crossing of one another's lines. The directors of the companies involved therefore decided to exchange the station sites. The London and Greenwich Railway would take over the newly completed London and Croydon Railway station, whilst a new joint committee of the Croydon, Brighton and South Eastern companies would demolish the first station and build a new joint station on its site..

The proposed London Bridge joint station c.1844


Joint Station

Plans for a large new station were drawn up and a drawing was published in the Illustrated London News and George Bradshaw's Guide to the London and Brighton Railway 1844. It it was opened for business in July 1844 whilst only partially complete, but events were taking place which would mean that it would never be finished.

In 1843 the South Eastern, and the Croydon railway companies had become increasingly concerned by the high tolls charged by the London and Greenwich Railway for the use of the station approaches, and had gained Parliamentary approval to build their own independent line into south London to a new station at Bricklayer's Armsmarker. This line opened in 1844 and most of the services from these two companies were withdrawn from London Bridge, leaving only the Greenwich and Brighton companies using London Bridge station. The Greenwich company, which was in financial difficulties beforehand, was on the brink of bankruptcy and so was forced to lease its lines to the South Eastern Railway, which took effect from January 1845. The following year the Croydon and Brighton companies merged with others to form the London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR). As a result of these amalgamations there were now only two companies wishing to use the two adjoining stations at London Bridge.

South Eastern Railway station

The SER took over the second London and Greenwich station (which had been built for the London and Croydon Railway) and sought to develop that site rather than continue to invest in the former joint station, which now became the property of the LB&SCR. The SER station was therefore rebuilt and enlarged between 1847 and 1850. At the same time yet further improvements were made to the station approaches, increasing the number of tracks to six, which entirely separated the lines of the two railways.. Once these extensions were complete the SER closed its passenger terminus at Bricklayer's Arms and converted the site into a goods depot.

London Bridge station remained the London terminus of the SER until 1864 when its station was again rebuilt and some of the platforms converted into a through station to enable the extension of the main line into central London and the opening of Charing Cross railway stationmarker, and in 1866 to Cannon Street stationmarker. In 1899 the SER entered into a working amalgamation with the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies Joint Management Committee. Junctions were laid to enable trains through London Bridge to reach the LC&DR stations at Holborn Viaductmarker and St Paulsmarker.

London Brighton and South Coast Railway station

The LB&SCR took over the unfinished joint station, but never completed the original plan. They did however open the Terminus Hotel at the station in 1861, but this not successful due to its site on the south bank of the river and so was turned into offices for the railway in 1892.

In 1866 the LBSCR enlarged its the station to cope with additional traffic generated by the completion of the South London line and other suburban lines to Victoria stationmarker. This had a single-span trussed-arch roof measuring 88 ft by 655 ft (27 m by 200 m) and was designed by J. Hawkshaw and F. D. Banister.

During the first decade of the twentiety century LB&SCR station at London Bridge was again enlarged, but remained a sprawling confusion.

The LB&SCR electrified the South London Line from London Bridge to Victoria in 1909 using an overhead system. Once this experiment proved to be successful other suburban services from the station were electrified..

Southern Railway Station

The grouping of the railways of southern England to form the Southern Railway in 1923 at last brought the two adjoining stations under single ownership. During the 1920s the Southern Railway electrified the SE&CR suburban lines at London Bridge using a Third rail electric system, and converted the existing LB&SCR. It also electrified the Brighton Main Line services from the station in 1932.

London Bridge Station was badly damaged by bombing in 1941, and the former Terminal Hotel, used as railway offices, was destroyed.

British Railways Station

British Railways, which took over responsibility for the station in 1948 continued the electrification of the lines from London Bridge during the 1950s and 1960s. During the mid 1970s they undertook a major redevelopment of the station site, designed by N. D. T. Wikeley, regional architect for British Rail Southern. This was completed in 1978.

National Rail

The through platforms, 1-6, are on the north side of the station. Platforms 1-3 are served by trains starting and ending at Cannon Streetmarker. Services to and from Charing Crossmarker use platforms 4-6 and a passing loop to the south of platform 6. Platforms 5 & 6 are also served by First Capital Connect with its Thameslink Bedfordmarker to Brightonmarker services via Lutonmarker, St Albans, St Pancras Internationalmarker, Farringdonmarker, City Thameslinkmarker, Blackfriarsmarker and Gatwick Airportmarker. Platform 6 is the busiest railway platform in Europe, due to the necessity of routing all trains heading to Charing Crossmarker and Blackfriarsmarker through it.

The terminal platforms, 8-16, are on the south side of the station and are mostly served by Southern services to south London and the south coast.

File:london bridge exterior.jpg|London Bridge exterior

File:London2007 img 5416.jpg|London Bridge interiorFile:London_Bridge_railway_station_platform.jpg|National Rail terminal platformsFile:London Bridge station 021.jpg|Through platforms

Services

The typical off-peak service from the station is:

First Capital Connect
  • 4tph (trains per hour) to Bedfordmarker
  • 4tph to Brightonmarker (2tph semi-fast services, 2tph stopping services)


Southeastern

Southern

Future expansion

London Bridge is due to receive a major revamp as part of the Thameslink Programme, increasing its through platforms from six to nine. Current space restrictions mean that many options have been investigated including a two-level concourse. The number of terminating platforms will be reduced from nine to six. Work is not expected to be complete until 2015 with the bulk of the work taking place after the 2012 Olympic Games.

During the 4 years from October 2012 to December 2015 Thameslink trains may not be able to stop at London Bridge. If this is the case all Brighton trains will be routed via Tulse Hill. However plans for services beyond 2012 have not been finalised.

Shard London Bridgemarker, which will be one of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe, is planned for the southwest corner of the station, near the bus station. As of late 2009, construction of the tower is underway with steelwork beginning to rise.

London Underground

Northern Line platforms
Jubilee Line platforms


The Underground station is between Boroughmarker and Bankmarker on the Northern Line, and between Southwarkmarker and Bermondseymarker on the Jubilee Line. The station is the sixth busiest on the Underground network and is the only station on the London Underground network with 'London' in its name (while the NR termini are named, for instance 'London Waterloo' the Underground station is simply named 'Waterloo').

Originally Northern Line trains ran to a terminus at King William Streetmarker bypassing London Bridge, but the construction of a new station at Bank to provide greater capacity and allow northward extension required a new tunnel alignment, and provided the opportunity for a station at London Bridge. The station entrance was originally at Three Castles House on the corner of London Bridge Street and Station Approach, but has since been moved to Borough High Streetmarker and Tooley Streetmarker. The Northern Line platforms were rebuilt during the late 1990s to increase the platform and circulation areas in preparation for the opening of the Jubilee Line.

The Northern Line station opened on 25 February 1900 as part of the City & South London Railway's (C&SLR's) revised route from Borough to Bank and Moorgatemarker.The Jubilee Line station opened on 7 October 1999 as part of the Jubilee Line Extensionmarker, although trains had been running through non-stop from the previous month. To enable the Jubilee Line to be constructed, months of major engineering works to relocate buried services in the surrounding streets had to be undertaken. A new ticket hall was created in the arches under the main-line station, providing improved interchange. During excavations a variety of Roman remains were found, including pottery and fragments of mosaics; some of these are now on display in the station. The Jubilee Line platforms have been fitted with platform edge doors in common with all other stations on the extension.

There are two platforms on each line and two main sets of escalators to and from the Tooley Street ticket hall. All four platforms are directly accessible from the Borough High Street entrance/exit.

Layout

Northern Station

Platform 2 towards Mordenmarker
Island Platform
Platform 1 towards Edgwaremarker, High Barnetmarker or Mill Hill Eastmarker*


* Limited service

Jubilee Station

Eastbound towards Stratfordmarker
Island Platform (Platform Edge Doors)
Westbound towards Stanmoremarker


Services

River Service/London Bridge City Pier

London River Services London Bridge City Piermarker on the River Thames is slightly north of the station. It is served by Thames Clipper river boat services to Canary Wharfmarker, Greenwichmarker and the O2marker in the east, and Embankmentmarker to the west.

Accidents

  • On 1 February 1884, the 12:05pm London Bridge to Victoriamarker hauled by LBSC Terrier No.71 Wapping collided with a D1 tank which was fouling the exit from the platform. Two carriages derailed.


  • On 27 November 1895, a local train hauled by LB&SCR Terrier No. 70 Poplar collided with the buffer stops.


  • At 09:30 on 23 January 1948, a train formed of a 6PAN and a 6PUL unit, which had formed that days 08:05 from Seafordmarker and 07:30 from Oremarker, was allowed to draw up to the inner home signal, where it should have stopped. Instead it overran the signal and collided at a speed of between 15 and 20 mph (24 to 32 km/h) with the empty stock which had formed the 08:20 from Brightonmarker. This train was formed of two 6PAN units. The train that was struck was forced through the buffers and demolished a bookstall. Three people were killed and 34 were injured.




Other nearby stations

National Rail



London Underground



References

  1. Turner (1977) p.42
  2. Turner, (1977) pp.26-39.
  3. Turner, (1977) pp.176-9.
  4. Turner, (1978) pp.185-93.
  5. p.78.


External links




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