Do you use London Bridge rail station? We do. So join us in commiserating over what's about to be three years of hating commuting even more than usual.
London Bridge is being extensively re-modelled as part of the Thameslink programme. Eventually it will mean more trains get past that bottleneck and into central London and beyond — nine 'through' platforms instead of six. But before we get to that...
Christmas and New Year 2014
Between 20 December and 4 January, Southern services won't run to and from London Bridge. Instead, it looks like trains will run to London Victoria or, occasionally, terminate early at South Bermondsey. It's all a bit of a mess so we advise you check out Southern's website for timetable changes.
Between 22-24 December there are some changes to Southeastern services, the main one being that morning peak trains to Charing Cross won't stop at London Bridge. (Think of this as practice for next year.) No Southeastern trains will call at New Cross and St John's on 27-28 December. Again, look at the Southeastern website for more detail.
Thameslink services won't call at London Bridge between 20 December and 4 January, instead taking an alternative route via Blackfriars and East Croydon.
London Overground isn't operating from New Cross between 22-24 December, nor between Surrey Quays and West Croydon, Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction on 27-28 December, so that's another alternative route gone.
Don't forget: this is all in addition to the usual changes/shutdowns over Christmas and New Year, so always check before you travel.
From January 2015
This is when the real fun and games start.
From Monday 5 January, Thameslink through services will not call at London Bridge. Until 2018. Yes, that's at least three years. Trains will instead go via Elephant and Castle — though not all trains will call there. There'll be a half-hourly off peak service between Brighton and London Bridge on weekdays and Saturdays, with a very limited service during peak times.
From Monday 12 January, Southeastern services to Charing Cross will not call at London Bridge until summer 2016. If you want to travel to London Bridge you'll need to get a Cannon Street train. If you want to travel to or from a) New Cross, St John's, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill, Westcombe Park; and b) Plumstead, Woolwich Dockyard, Belvedere and Erith you'll also need to catch a Cannon Street train as Charing Cross services will no longer stop. In the case of the first group that change is permanent; for the latter set of stations, Charing Cross services will be restored in summer 2016.
From August 2016
A really early heads up here: when Charing Cross services start calling at London Bridge again, Cannon Street trains will stop. It'll be another 18 months or so after that before everything starts running to London Bridge again.