Canal Tunnels in north London, which run between the East Coast main line near King’s Cross station and the Thameslink route at St Pancras station, will link for the first time local and regional services from Cambridge and Peterborough with the route to Gatwick, Brighton, the south coast and Kent.
Connecting these services, which are currently operated by First Capital Connect, to the Thameslink route through central London is a key stage in the evolution of the rail network and a vital part of delivering capacity improvements in and around London.
Trains travelling through Canal Tunnels will provide up to eight of the possible 24 services an hour which will travel through central London when the £6bn Thameslink Programme is completed in 2018.
The Thameslink Programme will provide a significant increase in capacity into, through and out of London and provide better connections with Gatwick and Luton airports, Crossrail services at Farringdon and Eurostar and high speed services at St Pancras International.
Canal Tunnels were built at the same time as the redevelopment of St Pancras station between 2004 and 2006. Network Rail is currently installing track, signalling, power and safety systems to run services through them from 2018.