A new station at King's Cross should be ready for Thameslink passengers by the end of next year.

After eight months of delay, the Government has given the go-ahead for the new underground station which should provide better connections with St Pancras International – which opens for Eurostar trains next year – and with the Tube.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling announced on 8 February 2006 that the Thameslink station could be "fitted out".

The first phase of the station construction was completed in May last year, when an eight-month line closure allowed the construction of a station "box" while work was under way at the new St Pancras International station site.

The second phase will include laying flooring, fitting seven escalators and two lifts, and will cost in the region of £50million.

A further £10-15million will be spent on signalling work and to transfer services from the current station at Pentonville Road.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling said: "This new station will provide an excellent interchange between Thameslink and national and international services. It will also provide better access to passengers who use the Olympic Javelin service from St Pancras to Stratford during the 2012 Games."

The work fitting out the station will start in the next few months and will take 20 months, to allow the new station to open in December 2007.

It will need 24-hour shift working while a live railway is running through the middle of the site.

The new Thameslink station is separate from the wider Thameslink 2000 project, which involves a programme of infrastructure works to enable an increase of train frequency through the central section of the Thameslink Network, as well as extending platforms to allow 12 car trains to operate to a wide variety of destinations.

Thameslink 2000 was the subject of a reopened public inquiry between September and December 2005 and the Inspector's report is currently awaited.

From April this year, First Group will take over running Thameslink trains in a new combined Thameslink-Great Northern franchise. The trains will be operated under the new name First Capital Connect.

Information from the Department for Transport.