The ‘Harrington Hump’ is shortly to arrive at Aberdovey station, where passengers will be the first in Wales to benefit from this new addition to the platform that makes it easier for them to get on and off trains.
Installation of the system at Aberdovey station has started today by Network Rail engineers and the work will take around a week to complete.
The hump will raise the height of platforms, which in the past have been too low for all but the most able-bodied of rail travellers to use.
The modular easier access area - otherwise known as a ‘Harrington Hump’ – is named after the station in Cumbria, where it made its debut last year.
Jerry Swift, head of corporate responsibility at Network Rail, explains: “At the moment passengers with small children and pushchairs, the elderly or those with heavy luggage can find getting on and off trains difficult at Aberdovey. Now we have found a cost effective solution.
“Low platforms are a typical problem for rural stations, such as Aberdovey. The hump provides easier access and this in turn means more people can use the trains. The increase in passenger numbers can be the catalyst for further investment in the local railway, enhancing it even more to meet the increased demand.”
The scheme is jointly implemented by Network Rail and the Welsh Assembly Government and there are plans for more stations in Wales to benefit from the new system. Network Rail is now carrying out a study to explore the feasibility of installing this system at stations with low platform height, particularly on the Isle of Anglesey, Conwy Valley, Heart of Wales and Cambrian Coast line.
The beauty of the scheme is its simplicity. Rebuilding the platform to bring it up to modern standards would have cost around a quarter of a million pounds; a hump can be designed, built and installed for around a tenth of the cost of raising an entire platform while still providing easier access for all.