Legendary DJ Tony Blackburn has taken on the role of station announcer on the Thameslink network this week, as part of the operator's celebrations of the opening of Brent Cross West station this Sunday (10 December).
Operator Govia Thameslink Railway announced this Sunday as the station's opening date three weeks ago.
From today (Thursday 7 December) until next Wednesday (13 December), Blackburn, who lives in Barnet, will make a series of special announcements on Thameslink's route between Bedfordshire and South London that will serve Brent Cross West. His announcements will include a welcome message at the new station.
Eighty-year-old Blackburn was the first DJ to broadcast on BBC Radio 1 when it launched in 1967.
Brent Cross West is the first main line station to open in London for more than ten years. It will help passengers to access Brent Cross Town, a major local regeneration programme. Barnet Council and development partner Related Argent are creating the development, which will bring 25,000 jobs and 6,700 new homes to the area. They have pledged that it will be a net zero carbon town by 2030.
The council has also led the project to build the new station and infrastructure, which it claims is one of the first railway projects in England to be delivered by a local authority.
Brent Cross West station will connect passengers from Central London to Brent Cross, with journey times of twelve minutes, and up to eight Thameslink services will run in each direction.
More information about the new station can be found here.
Tony Blackburn said, “As a Barnet resident I'm delighted and honoured to be involved in the opening of our fabulous new station which, as far as I'm concerned, is top of the charts! Congratulations to Barnet Council and all their partners for this magnificent project.
“I'm sure Thameslink passengers will enjoy the style and space here, as well as being just 15 minutes or less from central London. But we're not just celebrating a great train station – the public footbridge is this area's first link between Barnet and Brent since the railway first came through 150 years ago.”
Keith Jipps, Govia Thameslink Railway's Infrastructure Director, says: “There really is no person or voice more iconic and ideal than the legendary Tony Blackburn to welcome passengers to the new Brent Cross West station. This station will make a huge difference to residents in both Barnet and Brent, and we're absolutely delighted to have Tony on board!”
Councillor Barry Rawlings, Leader of Barnet Council said: “Excitement is building for the opening of London's newest mainline station, a project we are very proud to have led, and we are delighted to see Tony Blackburn join in the fun of celebrating this huge achievement for Barnet Council and all the partners involved.”