Speaking at an event at the station, Jo Kaye, Network Rail’s route managing director said: “More and more people are choosing the train and these improvements at Bolton will make rail travel even more attractive.
“Now passengers will have the facilities they have come to expect from a major commuter station on a key route into a city centre.”
The £4m project included a contribution of £950,000 from Transport for Greater Manchester. Councillor Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This investment has delivered a significant improvement for passengers and makes the station a truly modern, welcoming gateway to Bolton town centre.
“These new facilities will encourage even more people to travel by train, which complements our plans for a brand new bus station next to the station, all of which is great news for people travelling to or from Bolton on public transport.”
The station is managed on a daily basis by Northern Rail. Lee Wasnidge, area director for Northern Rail, comments: “The benefits this work has brought to our passengers are obvious, with the improvement of so many facilities and the extension of the canopy providing shelter in time for the winter months. Thanks to the longer canopy, we can adjust where trains will stop, giving closer access to the stairs, while maintaining easy access to the toilet facilities as well.”
Work has transformed the ticket office within the entrance to the station. The square ticket sales counter area has been completely rebuilt. Gone are the old grey wall tiles, small glass retail windows and bright red roof girders, to be replaced with an expanse of glass and light paintwork. The whole area has been opened up to create much more space and reduce congestion.
The footbridge linking the platforms has been refurbished including new glazing and painted steelwork, further improving the passenger environment.
At platform level there is no longer an uncovered area between the foot of the stairs and the platform canopies. A completely new canopy has been built to protect passengers from the elements, and fill the gap that was created when the station entrance was relocated some 20 years ago.
The extension of the canopies will enable the position where trains stop at the platforms to be altered so that there is a much shorter distance for passengers to walk to where they wait for the train.
As passengers arrive onto the platforms they will now be greeted with information screens showing details of the next train to leave the platform, and another screen showing general departures for the whole station.
Walking down the Manchester platform, passengers will see a new, square glass extension to the coffee shop, which replaces the old conservatory style seating area.
The existing waiting rooms have been modernised and further along the platform, a large gap between two of the original station buildings has been turned into a brand new waiting room, complete with seats and sliding glass doors. All waiting rooms now have information screens so passengers can check on the progress of their train.
The existing toilets on both main platforms have been refurbished with new fixtures and fittings, including disabled and baby change facilities.
Cycle stands have been provided at the ends of platforms one/three and four, and existing cycle cabinets have been relocated to these positions.
In addition, the station lighting has been upgraded, new seats installed along the length of the platforms and the exterior of the platform buildings has been cleaned. Signage across the station has also been improved.
The platforms themselves have been resurfaced to include tactile paving to assist those with visual impairment.
Finally, passenger security has been considerably improved with the installation of a new CCTV system with associated monitoring and recording equipment.