The new Blackfriars station being built on a bridge spanning the RiverThames will be the world’s largest solar bridge, according to Network Rail.Work has started on the installation of more than 4,400 solar panels coveringthe station, which will generate an estimated 900,000kWh of electricity everyyear, providing 50% of the station’s energy. The eco-friendly project will alsoinclude rain harvesting systems and sun pipes for natural lighting, reducingthe station’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes each year.
Built in 1886 the Victorian bridge is the foundation for the new Blackfriarsstation. With its striking new roof of solar panels, the station is also expectedto become a major city landmark.
The Blackfriars upgrade is part of the Thameslink programme, which will seelonger trains running through London on theroute connecting Bedford and Brighton.Once the upgrade is complete, up to 24 trains will be able to run on thecentral Londonsection of the route every hour.
Lindsay Vamplew, Network Rail’s project director for Blackfriars, said;”We’re creating a spacious, modern station and delivering a vastly improvedtrain service for passengers, while at the same time installing London’slargest solar array to make Blackfriars more environmentally-friendly andsustainable.
“The Victorian rail bridge at Blackfriars is part of our railway history.Constructed in the age of steam, we’re bringing it bang up to date with twentyfirst century solar technology to create an iconic station for the city.”