London engineers discover “ghost” rail station from the last century

The ghostly remains of a long-lost London railway station that closed 100 years ago amidst war and urban evolution have been uncovered by engineers building a major new railway in the UK capital.

Southwark Park station, perched on a viaduct above Rotherhithe New Road, only served passengers from 1902 to 1915 before it closed for good.

It was one of several in the area that shut as a result of competition from trams and buses and the onset of the First World War.

Now, engineers working on the massive Thameslink project to rebuild a major north-south London rail route have rediscovered the former ticket hall and platforms.

Project manager Greg Thornett said they uncovered the footings of the old platforms while preparing the top of the viaduct for new track.

They’ll have to fill in the skylights of the ghostly ticket hall, but will preserve some of the old structure.

"Much of the existing stretch of viaduct will be replaced by the ramps into and out of the new dive under," he said, "but the arch that used to house the old booking hall will remain."

The Government-sponsored $9.7bn (£6.5bn) Thameslink Programme is rebuilding much of the railway from New Cross Gate in the south of the city St Pancras in the north.

In addition the same team, from Network Rail and contractor Skanska, are rebuilding 20 bridges between New Cross and Waterloo East to increase their strength.

Greg Thornett added: "Although the old viaducts will be replaced by modern structures, they are designed to remain in keeping with the older architecture. It’s exciting to see this transformation and it will be a real sense of achievement to see trains running on it."

Photograph: Project manager Greg Thornett surveys the remains of the old Southwark Park station, hidden in the catacombs under London

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