By Daniel Hunter

The government has safeguarded the future of a popular south London rail service ahead of a major overhaul of the network, Rail Minister Simon Burns announced today (Monday).

Passengers travelling to central London on the Wimbledon Loop had faced the prospect of having to change trains at Blackfriars Station from 2018 under proposals put forward under the Thameslink Programme.

However, after extensive consultation with stakeholders and local rail users, the Department for Transport has worked closely with Network Rail to make sure the route continues to operate as part of Thameslink’s core services.

Rail Minister Simon Burns said:

The Wimbledon Loop provides a vital service for thousands of Londoners every day, and we have worked hard to safeguard its future after listening to the concerns of local people and stakeholders.

The Thameslink Programme is having a huge impact on improving rail services across London and beyond, but the department was always concerned that the initial proposals for this route were not quite right.

I am therefore extremely pleased that Network Rail have relooked at the plans and am confident this decision will provide benefits to rail users for years to come.

Currently, 4 trains run every hour from Wimbledon Loop stations serving Merton, Morden, Sutton, Carshalton, Mitcham, Streatham and Tulse Hill, through to St Pancras International and beyond.

Under the new proposals 8 Thameslink trains will run per hour via Elephant and Castle, including the 4 Wimbledon Loop trains, 2 from Sevenoaks via Bromley South and Catford, and 2 (peak only) from Maidstone East via Bromley South.

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