The first phase of the work is to upgrade the tracks and extend the platforms by around 80m so they can handle12-car trains, rather than the current eight-car, providing more seats for thousands of passengers who travel on the busy route between East Grinstead and Victoria every day.
Phase two, which is being funded through the national stations improvement programme, focuses on improving facilities and the overall station environment. The work includes:
– A new station building which has an improved layout making it easier for passengers to move through the station, particularly at the busiest times of the day
– A brighter and more spacious booking hall area, which includes a fully accessible ticket office window, improved retail and new passenger toilets
– Improved passenger drop off and taxi facilities
– New automatic ticket gates and improved CCTV coverage
– New platform waiting shelters
– Enhanced cycle parking facilities
Cllr John Saull said: “Both the new station, and the Bluebell Railway northern extension which is coming next year, will certainly smarten up this quarter of the town and increase business opportunities.”
Mark Ruddy, Network Rail’s route director for Sussex, said: “This upgrade is a big step forward in providing a bigger and better railway for the people of East Grinstead. Once completed, there will be more seats on trains and better station facilities, which will significantly make a real and long-lasting difference to the daily journeys for thousands of passengers.”
David Scorey, Southern’s franchise improvement director said: “Once this programme of work is complete, we will be in a much better position to be able to increase seating capacity significantly into central London on the East Grinstead Line starting from December 2011, and our passengers will also benefit greatly from the new station building. The work has been planned in a way which will keep disruption to a minimum which is great news for our passengers.”
The platform extensions and track upgrades, which are being delivered by Network Rail, are scheduled for completion by 11 December 2011 so the longer trains can start running in the new timetable.
The new station building and improvements to facilities, which are being delivered by Southern, begin in September and are due for completion in summer 2012.
Also in Europe today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to London.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
London.Mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
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City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.