Several stretches of a former viaduct and bridges on the railway line into London Bridge are being demolished as part of the new railway access in connection with the £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme.
The Bermondsey Dive Under is being created to separate flows of trains approaching London Bridge from South East London, helping improve reliability and reducing delays on a part of the railway notorious for its bottlenecks and congestion.
Bermondsey Dive Under Project Manager Greg Thornett said: “Our Victorian ancestors did a fantastic job and we are still using much of their work to carry more than 200,000 passengers every day – including a stretch of the oldest railway in the whole of London.
“However, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to untangle the current complex track layout, which is a result of historic railway operators dating back over 150 years running services adjacent to one another into London on their own infrastructure.
“Our contractors are removing the steel bridges first before using a mixture of techniques to deconstruct the brick viaducts. Passengers will soon see big changes from the windows of their trains.”
Two Victorian viaducts will be partially demolished and rebuilt to allow Charing Cross trains from South East London and Kent to dive down to almost street level, under a new route carrying Thameslink services from Croydon, and back up again.
Network Rail and its contractor, Skanska, is also strengthening 20 bridges between New Cross and Waterloo East to carry the proposed Thameslink track alignments which are necessary to provide 24 train paths per hour though London’s central core from Blackfriars to St. Pancras.
Thornett added: “Although the old viaducts will be replaced by modern structures, they are designed to remain in keeping with the older architecture. It’s exciting to see this transformation and it will be a real sense of achievement to see trains running on it.”