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Tue April 13 2021

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Abandoned railway station rediscovered in London

21 Apr 15 Construction workers on the Thameslink project have uncovered a south London railway station that has been shut for 100 years.

Project manager Greg Thornett explores Southwark Park station, hidden in the catacombs under the railway in Bermondsey
Project manager Greg Thornett explores Southwark Park station, hidden in the catacombs under the railway in Bermondsey

The ticket hall and platforms of Southwark Park station, which only operated between 1902 and 1915, are to this day still perched on a viaduct above Rotherhithe New Road Ghost. They were rediscovered by the team constructing the Bermondsey Dive Under, as part of the Thameslink Programme.

Southwark Park station was one of several in the area, including Spa Road, closed as a result of competition from trams and buses and the impact of the First World War.

Project manager Greg Thornett said: ““The Bermondsey Dive Under is a key part of the Thameslink Programme, creating the railway necessary to provide a frequent and reliable service through London Bridge and make a huge difference to passengers’ journeys , cutting journey times and making the services more reliable.

“We uncovered the footings for the former platforms while we were preparing the top of the viaduct for new track and we are now working up in the roof space of the former ticket hall to fill in the old sky lights, ready to carry the final track alignment.

“Much of the existing stretch of viaduct will be replaced by the ramps into and out of the new dive under, but the arch that used to house the old booking hall will remain.”

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The £6.5bn Thameslink programme is rebuilding much of the railway from New Cross Gate through London Bridge and on to Blackfriars and St Pancras. The Bermondsey Dive Under (see diagram below)  will see two Victorian viaducts 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.

In addition the same team, from Network Rail and contractor Skanska, are rebuilding 20 bridges between New Cross and Waterloo East to increase their strength.

Greg 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.”

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