Transport minister Sadiq Khan visited Farringdon station today to see Network Rail's progress on the £250m scheme which will transform it into one of London's busiest transport hubs.
The minister was shown demolition work at Cardinal Tower, the 42 metre office block that is being taken down to make way for an integrated Crossrail and Thameslink ticket hall.
Sadiq Khan said:
"Farringdon sits at the heart of a major investment in London's railway network.
"From this station passengers will be able to traverse the city on brand new Crossrail and Thameslink trains, and access some of our country's major international gateways.
"I'm pleased to see that work is well underway here to make this vision a reality and translate the government's multi-billion pound investment into better services for people travelling through London and the wider UK."
When work is completed in 2017, Farringdon will handle over 140 trains every hour and offer connections to four of London's major airports (Gatwick, Luton, Heathrow and London City) and two international rail stations (St Pancras and Stratford).
The hall will link the city's north/south Thameslink trains with Crossrail's east/west services. This will bring passengers from areas such as Barnet and Croydon closer to Heathrow, the City and Canary Wharf - vastly improving travel across London and beyond.
Richard Walker, Network Rail's project manager at Farringdon, said:
"Our investment at Farringdon will transform the station into one of London's most important transport hubs, the only station from which passengers will be able to access Thameslink, Crossrail and London Underground services, offering links to four of the capital's major airports and the country's two international rail stations.
"The demolition of Cardinal Tower is a vital first step as we clear the way for a modern, spacious ticket hall for Crossrail and Thameslink designed to make it easy for passengers to change trains."
Over the next three months, Cardinal Tower will be carefully deconstructed to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses. Thousands of sections of concrete are being cut out of the building piece by piece and crushed on site for reuse or recycling. Once the tower is demolished, work will continue underground as the Crossrail station and Thameslink ticket hall start to take shape.
Notes to editors
- Farringdon is one of seven new underground stations being constructed in central London for Crossrail.
- When the £15.9bn Crossrail project opens in 2017 it will increase London's public transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration across the capital, helping to secure London's position as a world leading financial centre, and cutting journey times across the city.
- Preparatory works will continue throughout 2009 and main Crossrail construction starts in 2010. Crossrail will run 118 km from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will bring an additional 1.5m people within 60 minutes commuting distance of London's key business districts.
- Thameslink is one of Britain's busiest rail routes and the only overground railway to go through central London. Network Rail's £5.5bn modernisation scheme will deliver a dramatic increase in capacity, with 12-carriage trains running 24 times an hour through central London, meaning more seats and improved reliability for passengers.