Network Rail has completed a £5m project to extend platforms and improve Littlehaven station in Sussex.
The Southern-managed station’s platforms have been rebuilt and lengthened to accommodate eight-car trains, meaning passengers no longer have to walk down the train to exit the majority of services. This has also reduced congestion and improved safety on the platforms when longer trains arrive.
Work on the project began in September last year, when the new, extended sections were built. This allowed the old platforms to be demolished and rebuilt to modern standards – all while the railway was open for business.
Improvements were also made to the station itself.
Network Rail’s route managing director for the South East, Dave Ward, said: “The railway in Sussex is a great success story, with growing passenger numbers, and as a result it’s important that we keep investing to improve stations and build a railway that is designed to cope with longer trains.
“We’ve not only extended the platforms at Littlehaven, but we have also improved the lighting, signage, passenger information and waiting shelters, giving passengers a much better environment to travel from and to.”
The longer platforms also mean that when longer trains call at the station, they will no longer obstruct the level crossing on Rusper Road, which used to cause delays to road traffic and pedestrians.
Southern’s head of major projects, Brian Husbands, said: “The extended platforms at Littlehaven will mean a more convenient experience for our passengers. Now, it doesn’t matter which part of the train they travel in as all doors will open on the majority of services. I am delighted that once again, Southern and Network Rail have worked together to make meaningful improvements on our network.”
Councillor Helena Croft, cabinet member for Horsham Town, communication and special projects said: “I am delighted to see the high-quality upgrade that has been achieved at Littlehaven station. This is a well-used and hugely important station for local residents. This extensive investment really secures the future for Littlehaven and confirms Network Rail’s commitment which is such excellent news for the area.”
As well as improving conditions at Littlehaven, a wider Network Rail programme of platform extensions and power supply upgrades across the region will allow for longer trains to run across the region.
This will link with the Thameslink Programme, which will see more than 20 trains per hour run from Sussex, Kent and south east London through the centre of the capital to north London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire by 2018.