March 2009 might as well be called Thameslink Programme (TLP) month from all the changes happening with the staged introduction of Key Output Zero (KO0). This basically is when the Moorgate branch closes and trains from Sevenoaks are (re)added into the Thameslink network due to lack of terminating bays at Blackfriars come the end of the month. The key dates are different to the 'official' dates but I have used the actually changes rather than the basic timetable changes as weekend services as you know is non existence at the moment.
27th Febuary 2009
The final time you'll be able to use Blackfriars Tube station until late (IE nov/dec) 2011. This is due to Network Rail (NR) rebuilding the whole station to provide a proper interchange with the Thameslink station and will have step free access. Please not that although they say it closes on the 2nd Febuary there is engineering work that weekend meaning you can't access the station on the 28th Febuary/1st March.
20th March 2009
This is the final day of services into Moorgate from the north Thameslink route before closure to allow Farringdon's platforms to be extended over the branch's junction to cope with the 12 car trains coming from 2012. The final service should be the 1906 to Bedford calling at Farringdon, St Pancras International, St Albans, Harpenden, Luton, Leagrave and Bedford arriving at 2012.
23rd March 2009
Customer living on the Sevenoaks to Blackfriars via Catford line will come under the Thameslink/First Capital Network with all trains running through the Central London Core to at least as far as Kentish Town. The service will be run by 4 car 319s and in the peaks will be extended to as far as Bedford. The current services from Beckenham Junction, Gillingham, Rochester and Ashford International into Blackfrairs will also be a joint effort with First Capital Connect and SouthEastern. The trains are due to be run by dual voltage 377/5 and are planned to be 8 units if enough 377/5's are delivered for this date.
As you can see the next month sees a lot of changes to both First Capital Connect services as well as SouthEastern services from late March. This is all part of providing more seats for customers using these services. There is still a danger that these keys dates are not meet. As of writing we are a 4 weeks away from the latest date and yet we have only had two 377/5's delivered with the first 377501 expected to be in service this week according to the latest dates. The second unit 377504 was delivered last week and has under gone some testing, neither have been on the Thameslink Core as of yet. Something that will have to change very soon. Work on the bridge at Farringdon is also behind but Network rail is stepping up efforts there and beginning to make real effort to meet the deadline. If enough 377's and the bridge at Farringdon isn't ready in time then the whole programme could slip. There is only a few months 'spare' in the time scale before the Olympics hit in 2012. Hopefully FCC, DfT, SouthEastern, NR and Bombardier will have all the problems solved or minimised by the time KO0 kicks in.