Network Rail is set to complete the final major milestone of the £43m improvement scheme at Peterborough station over the Christmas period, increasing capacity on the railway and creating a transport gateway fit for growing railway demand.
Work will start as soon as the last train has passed through on Christmas Eve and will take around 80 hours to complete. This means the station will be closed on 27 December and alternative transport put in place by train operators.
From 28 December, passengers at Peterborough station will experience the benefits of the upgrade work for the first time, following the installation of the new signalling system over the Christmas period. The new system, which monitors and controls the movement of trains through the busy station area, will mean a more reliable service for passengers. The work marks completion of the final key stage of the project which will ultimately create a bigger, brighter, better station to cater for the growing number of people who want to travel by rail.
To date, existing platforms have been extended, new platforms added, along with a new footbridge and lifts, preparing the station for more services and longer trains in the future. The project is set to be completed by March 2014 with some remaining station work to be finalised ahead of this time.
The station currently also boasts a smart new-look concourse following the £3.3m joint investment by Network Rail and East Coast. This includes a bold new entrance canopy and better lighting, as well as new customer information boards and more comfortable seating.
Phil Verster, route managing director, Network Rail, said: “We look forward to passengers experiencing the benefits of the improved station following the Christmas break. We recognise there is never a good time to carry out work which disrupts passengers and we thank everyone in advance for their patience and understanding on the day.
“With more than 4m people using Peterborough station each year, we are creating a transport gateway to accommodate extra capacity and extra demand – a railway fit for the future. The work being carried out over Christmas this year is the last key piece of the puzzle.”
East Coast commercial and customer service director, Peter Williams said, “The essential work planned by Network Rail for Peterborough will enable us to offer more services and a more reliable railway in 2014 and beyond.
“The work has been timed for two days when trains aren’t running, plus a third day when experience shows fewer people travel compared with a normal weekday. We appreciate any short-term disruption to travel plans isn’t welcome, but the work on Friday 27 December will help to build a bigger and better railway.
“We’re advising passengers intending to travel south of Grantham on Friday 27 December that if they can, it would be best to travel on another day. We’ll run regular services throughout the day on 27 December between Grantham and Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, and so those only using services north of Grantham won’t be affected.”
First Capital Connect customer service director, Keith Jipps said, “Buses will replace our trains all day between Peterborough and Huntingdon and our services are expected to be much busier than normal with passengers displaced from East Coast services. Please bear with us and allow longer than normal for your journey.”
The station will already be closed for the Christmas break from 25-26 December, when the final stage of the project will commence and will mean the station will remained closed for rail access on 27 December, re-opening on 28 December once the new signalling system is commissioned.
Passengers are advised to check with train operating companies or National Rail Enquiries before they travel as there will be changes to services and replacement buses in operation.