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Thameslink is a fifty-station main-line route in the British railway system running 225 km (140 mi) north to south through London from Bedford to Brighton, serving both London Gatwick Airport and London Luton Airport. It opened as a through service in 1988 and by 1998 was severely overcrowded, carrying more than 28,000 passengers in the morning peak. The Thameslink programme is a major £5.5 billion scheme to extend the service to a further 100 stations and to greatly increase capacity on the central London section to accommodate more frequent and longer trains. Some parts of this scheme, now well under way, will be in place by the 2012 Summer Olympics. Thameslink services will be complemented by Crossrail, which will offer east-to-west mainline services across London.



Most of the route is over the Brighton Main Line and the southern part of the Midland Main Line. There is also a suburban loop through Sutton and Wimbledon.

The route through central London is St Pancras International for connections to Eurostar and the East Midlands; Farringdon, which links into the London Underground's Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines; City Thameslink, which replaced the demolished Holborn Viaduct but also has a southern entrance serving Ludgate Circus; Blackfriars, which links to a number of other rail services and the District and Circle lines on the Underground; and London Bridge, which also links to a number of other lines. King's Cross Thameslink on Pentonville Road closed on 8 December 2007.

Trains operating the "main line" service (Bedford to Brighton) include first-class accommodation. Those serving the "suburban loop" are generally standard-class-only. The previous franchisee designated these services as "Thameslink CityFlier" and "Thameslink Metro" respectively, but the present operator has dropped this branding.


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