Thameslink’s London Blackfriars station, run by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), has been named as Major Station of the Year in the National Rail Awards.
Blackfriars is at the centre of the transformative £7bn Thameslink Programme that will bring hundreds more daily services from 2018, increasing peak-time services though the central London core to 24 trains per hour and connecting 80 additional stations in London and the South East.
To accommodate Thameslink ’s extended network and its new, longer trains, Blackfriars was rebuilt to straddle the River Thames. Uniquely in Europe, it has entrances on both river banks, giving the City and the South Bank arts attractions a shared station. Lifts serve new, wide platforms across the river, ready for the massive rise in passenger numbers expected from next year.
The National Rail Awards judges called the station’s redevelopment “visionary”, and said: “Blackfriars is well on the way to becoming the flagship station for the expanded Thameslink network.” Judges also commented on the “spotlessly clean” glass walls that exploit the unique views of the Thames and the surrounding London landmarks.
The award also recognises the station’s role as an environmental pioneer for the rail industry. Blackfriars is the largest solar bridge in the world, complementing the sustainability focus of the staff who work there.
Operationally completed in 2012 in time for London’s hosting of the Olympic Games, Blackfriars is now a pillar of Govia Thameslink’s environmental strategy, boasting a solar roof with 4,400 panels generating up to 50 per cent of the station’s energy needs. Last year staff achieved an environmental milestone when the station was granted ‘zero-to-landfill’ status, with all waste sent for recycling, composting or incineration for energy generation.
Thameslink’s Head of Customer Service Jerome Pacatte said: “We are very proud to work here because it’s a clear example of the modernisation programme we’re bringing in to give passengers a better service. There has been a lot of work by the Network Rail project team with GTR’s Thameslink stations team to transform the station. My Blackfriars colleagues and their passengers are very appreciative of all the investments made to create such a beautiful environment.”
Colin Morris, Head of Safety and Environment at GTR, said: “I am thrilled that Blackfriars has received this prestigious national award, which underlines our commitment to sustainable travel. The station is a real environmental trailblazer. I am very pleased to see this recognised, just a year after Blackfriars became ‘zero-to-landfill’, a key strand of our environmental strategy.”