Over the next 11 months, engineers will be working round the clock to bring a striking landmark from canvas to concrete. Measuring 2,100 square metres – nearly twice the size of the old station, Newport station will modernise the skyline of the city and becomes an iconic gateway for Wales.
Jointly funded by Network Rail and the Welsh Assembly Government, the multi-million pound scheme meets the city-wide vision to regenerate Newport. The new station will cater to an increasing number of rail passengers in the region and will also meet the influx of passengers travelling into the city for Ryder Cup.
The new station has been designed by an Atkins / Grimshaw partnership and is to be constructed by Galliford Try.
Accessibility and safety are at the heart of the new design. Passengers will benefit from two new terminals and an additional new entrance to serve passengers from the northern side of the city. A station footbridge will conveniently connect passengers to all platforms.
The station will also be equipped with three lifts, CCTV, modernised customer information system and new waiting shelters. Both terminals will also have improved ticketing and information points and more shops.
There will also be a new and expanded car park with 250 spaces and platform 4 will also be extended by 50 metres to accommodate longer trains in the near future.
Mike Gallop, route enhancement manager, Network Rail said: “This is the beginning of a new chapter for the people in Newport and for rail passengers travelling into Wales. There is still much to do and we have a big task ahead, we will continue to work hard to make the new station happen.”
“By 2010, passengers will be greeted with a stunning station that is bigger, eco-friendly and an icon for the city of Newport and the railway in Wales.”
The Deputy First Minister and Minister for Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones, said: “I’m delighted that work has started on this important project which will greatly improve public transport in Newport and provide a great impression for those entering Wales.
“This will also be an important development as Newport prepares to welcome the Ryder Cup in 2010 when many people will be visiting here for the first time. Our investment here is another example of our commitment to make public transport as accessible as possible to provide a real alternative to the car and to fulfil our One Wales promise of delivering an integrated transport system fit for the 21st century.”
Arriva Trains Wales head of stations, Peter Northcott said: “The new look Newport Station will be a landmark building for the city providing passengers with a welcoming and modern facility. We are delighted work has begun and look forward to the construction completion.”
Councillor Matthew Evans, leader of Newport city council, said: “We welcome the start of work on this key project and look forward to seeing it progressing over the coming year. We anticipate that it will act as a springboard to attract further regeneration in this part of the city centre.”
“The modern and unique design of the new station will create an improved first impression for visitors arriving in the city for the Ryder Cup, but more importantly will create a lasting legacy which will benefit all Newport residents. For businesses it will further enhance our city’s unique position as the main transport gateway for South Wales.”
John Burrows, Chief Executive of Newport Unlimited, the Urban Regeneration Company for Newport said: ‘The new station will be another striking addition to the rapidly changing Newport skyline. The new terminal at the western end of the station will bring much needed travel facilities which will add to, and complement, the historic Victorian buildings, canopies and platforms of Newport Station and help make it, and the City of Newport, a key nodal point for transport connections, sustainable transport, and economic development.
Clad in a unique material – ethylene tetra fluoro ethylene (ETFE), the new station will be a bright and airy space for passengers.
ETFE is a recyclable material that is extremely lightweight and compared to glass, it requires significantly less steel to support the structure.
In addition, the material provides better insulation than double glazing and therefore less energy is needed to heat the space it covers. ETFE does not degrade under Ultra-Violet light or atmospheric pollution and its unique non-stick, self-cleaning design means that grime can be easily removed by rain.
ETFE does not pose any threat to the ozone layer and was originally designed for the space industry.