£40 million Platform 5 project opens in Stevenage
- Credit: Archant
The eagerly anticipated fifth platform at Stevenage train station opened today, with operators promising commuters better connections and improved reliability.
Platform 5, which formed part of the government’s £1.2 billion rail infrastructure improvement plan, opened this morning, with Stephen McPartland MP and rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris present and praising the new platform.
Work began in early 2019 to build a dedicated fifth platform at Stevenage station – which has a passenger lift, two waiting rooms, three sets of seating, a help point and ticket machine.
Construction work was pushed ahead after an agreement from both Network Rail and Govia Thameslink, with Platform 5 being completed more than a year ahead of its revised schedule.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris commented: “This new platform and track at Stevenage will mean more frequent and reliable services for passengers who use the line day in day out.
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“Thanks to the hard work of Network Rail and GTR who have worked tirelessly to accelerate the project, we have reached an important milestone in our ambitious £1.2 billion East Coast upgrade.”
Great Northern trains from the Hertford North line can now terminate at Stevenage and return to London, freeing up vital space on the existing tracks for Thameslink trains.
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The restored service running between Stevenage’s new platform and the Hertford Loop will be an all day and twice hourly service.
Paul Rutter, Network Rail route director, said: “This vital project to build a bay platform at Stevenage is part of a programme of investment that will allow additional services to run on the East Coast Main Line, bringing more choice, more seats and a more reliable railway for passengers.
“We would like to thank passengers who have needed to use bus replacement services between Stevenage and Watton-at-Stone, station users and people who live near the railway for their continued patience whilst this essential part of the East Coast upgrade was completed.”
The East Coast Upgrade was first introduced by the Government in 2014, as part of a 10-year, £1.2 billion investment into connecting London with Yorkshire, the North East of England and Scotland.