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This note describes the Thameslink infrastructure project, including information on how the scheme got off the ground, construction issues and the policy of successive government towards the project. It does not deal with the controversial Thameslink rolling project to purchase new trains to run on the route. This is covered in HC Library note SN3146. The re-let of the Thameslink passenger franchise is covered in SN1343.

The Thameslink project involves electrification, signalling and new track works. This will increase capacity, reduce journey times and generally expand the current Thameslink route through central London and across the South East of England. On completion in 2018, up to 24 trains per hour will operate through central London, reducing the need for interchange onto London Underground services.

The project dates back to the Conservative Government in the mid-1990s. It underwent a lengthy public inquiry process under the Labour Government and has been continued by the Coalition Government. However, the scheme will not be complete until 2018 – 14 years later than its supporters had hoped when the scheme was initially proposed.

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