Thameslink Programme – Constructions challenges and Operational change, Swindon

7 September, 2016 | 18:00 - 20:00

London Bridge at the heart of the Thameslink Programme.
London Bridge at the heart of the Thameslink Programme.

About this event

The Thameslink Programme is a £6.5bn Department for Transport funded scheme that delivers increased capacity, increased service frequency and improved connectivity for north-south journeys across London.

Network Rail is responsible for delivering the infrastructure components of the Programme, with Siemens delivering the new trains and rolling stock maintenance depots and Govia Thameslink Railway as the Train Operator.

Construction started in 2008 and the first stage of the Programme (Key Output 1) was completed in 2012 which involved the reconstruction of Blackfriars and Farringdon stations and the route infrastructure upgrades to facilitate 12 car train operation between Bedford and Brighton.

Key Output 2 is now well underway and focuses on the re-building of London Bridge station and the total re-modelling and re-signalling of the track layout in the London Bridge area as well as the construction of new stabling sidings, the connection of the Midland main line with the East Coast main line north of St Pancras via Canal Tunnels, power supply upgrades and the commissioning of high capacity infrastructure through central London (European Train Control System, Automatic Train Operation and Traffic Management).

Key Output 2 completes in 2018 and this lecture will consider the progress made to date, the construction challenges and how system integration underpins the realisation of the defined outputs.


Simon Blanchflower

Simon is Network Rail's Major Programme Director for the Thameslink Programme. His involvement in major rail projects dates back nearly 20 years having been involved with Heathrow Express, Terminal 5 Rail Projects and Crossrail.

He first joined the Thameslink Programme in 2007 and at that stage was responsible for the leadership of several functional teams including engineering, consents, environment and sponsorship. He led the planning application process for London Bridge station and the new train depots and in 2010 worked with the Department for Transport to secure the funding for the Programme as part of the post-election comprehensive spending review.

He left the Programme between 2012 and 2014 to become the Director of Route Asset Management for Network Rail's Kent Route before re-joining Thameslink in August 2014 as the Major Programme Director to lead the delivery through to completion in 2018.

Simon has 34 years' experience in railway engineering, maintenance and projects; is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Member of the Railway Civil Engineers Association and has served on both its management and membership committees and a Fellow of the Permanent Way Institution.