City Thameslink railway station

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City Thameslink National Rail
City Thameslink stn Ludgate Hill entrance.JPG
Southern entrance on Ludgate Hill
City Thameslink is located in Central London
City Thameslink
City Thameslink
Location of City Thameslink in Central London
LocationHolborn Viaduct / Ludgate Hill
Local authorityCity of London
Managed byThameslink
OwnerNetwork Rail
Station codeCTK
DfT categoryC1
Number of platforms2
Fare zone1
National Rail annual entry and exit
2012–13Increase 5.541 million[2]
– interchange Increase 475[2]
2013–14Increase 6.020 million[2]
– interchange Increase 409[2]
2014–15Increase 6.354 million[2]
– interchange Increase 3,299[2]
2015–16Decrease 6.340 million[2]
– interchange Increase 11,885[2]
2016–17Decrease 6.339 million[2]
– interchange Increase 12,008[2]
Key dates
1990Opened as St. Paul's Thameslink
1991Renamed City Thameslink
Other information
Lists of stations
External links
WGS8451°30′59″N 0°06′13″W / 51.5163°N 0.1037°W / 51.5163; -0.1037Coordinates: 51°30′59″N 0°06′13″W / 51.5163°N 0.1037°W / 51.5163; -0.1037
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

City Thameslink is a central London railway station within the City of London, with entrances on Ludgate Hill and Holborn Viaduct. It is on the Thameslink route, situated between Blackfriars to the south and Farringdon to the north. Along with St Pancras, these make up the four core stations of the Thameslink route.

The station opened in 1990 as a replacement for Holborn Viaduct railway station. It was designed as part of the Thameslink project that re-opened the Snow Hill Tunnel and provided a continuous north-south service across London. It was originally named St. Paul's Thameslink, but to avoid confusion with the nearby St. Paul's tube station on the Central line, it was renamed City Thameslink the following year. The station was refurbished in 2010–11 as part of a Thameslink programme to increase capacity, and a major timetable upgrade occurred in 2018.

Name and location[edit]

Northern Entrance on Holborn Viaduct

The station is in the City of London. It has two entrances on Ludgate Hill and Holborn Viaduct respectively, both of which provide access to the two platforms.[3] It is one of the few stations in Central London that does not have a direct access to any London Underground station. Nearby tube stations include Chancery Lane, St Pauls and Blackfriars.[4] A planned tube station in the immediate area, Ludgate Circus tube station, was never built.[5]

Although it is a through station, for ticketing purposes it is classed as a London terminus for Thameslink services to and from the south.[6] It is in Travelcard Zone 1, and considered one of the core stations for the Thameslink route along with St Pancras, Farringdon and Blackfriars.[7]

London Buses routes 4; 11; 15; 17; 23; 26; 76; 172 and heritage route 15H and night routes N11, N15, N21, N26, N76 and N199 serve the Ludgate Hill entrance to the station and routes 8; 25; 242; 521 and night route N8 serve the Holborn Viaduct entrance.[8]

There are claims that the station is idiosyncratically named.[9]


St Paul's Thameslink station shortly after opening, with the remains of Holborn Viaduct railway station in the background
Changes in 1990[10][11]
Smithfield sidings
Holborn Viaduct
City Thameslink


The Thameslink line opened in 1988, when the Snow Hill tunnel, closed to passengers since 1916, was re-opened to provide a route through to Farringdon and King's Cross from South London. Initially, trains using the approach viaduct for the now-closed Holborn Viaduct station.[12] The new service was an immediate financial success, and so it was decided to redevelop the Holborn Viaduct site with a new station and business complex. The work was part-financed by the London property developer Rosehaugh Stanhope.[12]

In preparation for Holborn Viaduct's closure, a new line between Blackfriars and the tunnel was constructed, this time on a different alignment slightly to the east and at a lower elevation, providing 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) of office space to be constructed above the station on a 4-acre (1.6 ha) site.[13] City Thameslink was built as a replacement for the Holborn Viaduct station. The total work was estimated at between £360 and £450 million.[14][13] Due to a proposed routing for the second phase of the Jubilee line through the area, part of the station was built to allow for a future interchange.[15]

Holborn Viaduct closed on 26 January 1990.[13] All Thameslink services were suspended for 17 days that May so that station demolition work could be carried out.[16]

The station was opened by British Rail on 29 May 1990 as St. Paul's Thameslink, and was renamed to City Thameslink on 30 September 1991[17] to avoid confusion with the St. Paul's Central line station on the London Underground, which is several hundred yards to the east, to the north of St Paul's Cathedral.[18] It was the first station built in Central London in almost 100 years.[14] The building was designed by SAS International, who designed the original walls and panelling.[19]

In conjunction with the new station, the area around the old Holborn Viaduct and Ludgate Hill stations was redeveloped, including the removal of an old bridge across Ludgate Hill itself.[20] In 1992, following the demolition, an additional service tunnel was built connecting City Thameslink to Farringdon.[21]

Recent events[edit]

When the Thameslink franchise was awarded to First Capital Connect in 2006, the Thameslink service was initially re-branded, however, City Thameslink was not renamed. By late 2010, FCC reverted to the Thameslink name.[22]

As part of the Thameslink Programme, an upgrade of City Thameslink station was completed in 2010. The upgrade was considered important owing to the closure of Blackfriars later in the year, which would lead to increased footfall. The platforms were made ready for future 12-carriage trains, and the passenger information system improved. New lighting, ticket gates and CCTV cameras were installed, and the service announcement system was upgraded to provide more accurate train times.[23] SAS retrofitted the station interior, as they had done for the original 1990 construction. This included new enamel wall panels that fitted the original design specification.[19]


The station is served by trains on the Thameslink route on Mondays to Saturdays (it is closed on Sundays).[24]

The new Thameslink timetable was introduced in May 2018, the current off peak service is as follows:[25]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station


In a 2014 report, London TravelWatch suggested that an underground passageway linking City Thameslink to St Pauls tube station to provide an interchange between the Central line and National Rail services on the Thameslink route would benefit passengers travelling from the Central Line catchment to Gatwick and Luton Airports.[26]



  1. ^ "London and South East" (PDF). National Rail. September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Station usage estimates". Rail statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Please note: Some methodology may vary year on year.
  3. ^ "City Thameslink Station Plan". Transport for London. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Nearest station to City Thameslink Station". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, James (15 July 2014). "Unbuilt London: The River Line". Londonist. Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Section A" (PDF). National Fares Manual 98. Association of Train Operating Companies. Retrieved 2 January 2010.[dead link]
  7. ^ NAO 2017, p. 11.
  8. ^ "City Thameslink Station". Transport for London. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Here are 31 better names for City Thameslink, the worst name for a railway station ever devised". CityMetric. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  10. ^ Catford, Nick (10 February 2006). "Snow Hill/Holborn Viaduct Low Level". Retrieved 27 November 2009.
  11. ^ Holborn viaduct to Lewisham by Vic Mitchell & Keith Smith (Middleton press)
  12. ^ a b Haywood 2016, p. 225.
  13. ^ a b c "Steaming ahead". The Times. London. 31 January 1990. p. 39. Retrieved 14 April 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
  14. ^ a b Dynes, Michael (7 November 1991). "Main-line station opening marks rail expansion". The Times. London. p. 5. (Subscription required (help)).
  15. ^ "Diving Into The Fleet: A Look At London's Lost Tube". London Reconnections. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Ludgate's first milestone". The Times. London. 1 April 1992. p. 8[S]. Retrieved 25 September 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
  17. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 62,204.
  18. ^ Harvey, David J (14 November 1989). "All change". Times. London, England. p. 17. Retrieved 14 April 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
  19. ^ a b "SAS International solutions specified for major refurbishment of City Thameslink". Architects Journal. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  20. ^ Clayton 2000, p. 181.
  21. ^ Clayton 2000, p. 75.
  22. ^ "Train Times: 23 May to 11 September 2010" (PDF). First Capital Connect. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  23. ^ "£4.5m upgrade of City Thameslink complete" (Press release). First Capital Connect. 15 October 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011.
  24. ^ "City Thameslink Station". Northern Railway. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  25. ^ "Thameslink timetable changes hit Gatwick and Luton journeys". TTG. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Potential future transport projects for London". London Travel Watch. 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2018.


  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Clayton, Antony (2000). Subterranean City: Beneath the Streets of London. Historical Publications. ISBN 978-0-948-66769-5.
  • Haywood, Russell (2016). Railways, Urban Development and Town Planning in Britain: 1948–2008. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-07164-8.
  • Update on the Thameslink programme. National Audit Office (Report). Department of Transport. 23 November 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Sutton, Philip (8–21 February 1990). "Goodbye Holborn Viaduct – Hello St. Paul's Thameslink". RAIL. No. 115. EMAP National Publications. pp. 6–7. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699.

External links[edit]