A £43m upgrade of Peterborough station heralding longer, more frequent trains, extra platforms and new footbridges and lifts has been announced today by Network Rail.
More than 4m people use Peterborough station each year and this number is set to rise dramatically, with the number of people travelling between the city and London forecast to double over the next 25 years. Network Rail’s investment will provide the extra capacity needed to cater for the forecast growth in passenger numbers on all routes to and through Peterborough and also paves the way for new services to new destinations.
Phil Verster, Network Rail route managing director, said: “We are making a significant investment to improve the railway in Peterborough, providing a better station and more trains for passengers. Rail is vital for Peterborough given its position as a strategic transport hub and this upgrade will provide a real boost to the local economy.
“When we’re finished in December 2013 the station will have a modern main building, extra platforms to increase capacity and reduce congestion, easier access thanks to new lifts and longer platforms ready for new, longer trains serving more destinations.”
Peterborough is a major rail interchange, served by a complex mix of commuter and long-distance services travelling both east-west and north-south. Network Rail’s redevelopment will increase capacity through the station, with two new platforms constructed on the west side of the station for use by trains travelling on east-west routes, freeing up the existing platforms for north-south services. The current platform 3 will also be widened and a new platform added for future London-bound high-speed services from Peterborough.
The main station footbridge will be updated and extended to serve the new platforms, with lifts providing step-free access between the station entrance and all platforms for the first time. These improvements will make travelling easier for everyone, especially those with reduced mobility, heavy luggage or with small children.
In addition to the new platforms, platforms 2 and 3 will be extended to facilitate future 12-car Thameslink services, which will provide direct connections from Peterborough to London and destinations across the South East.
Platforms 4 and 5 will be extended in readiness for future Intercity Express services, which will provide new trains on long-distance routes to the north of England and Scotland. A new goods loop will also be created to the west of the station to increase freight capacity on the key cross-country route from the port of Felixstowe to the Midlands and beyond.
Karen Boswell, managing director of East Coast, said: “This is fantastic news which will hugely enhance the travel experience for passengers using Peterborough station. It complements the £3m project East Coast is delivering to improve the main station building, which will help transform it into a vibrant gateway to the city.”
David Statham, projects director at First Capital Connect, said: “This vital development will allow a brand new fleet of longer 12-carriage trains to run from Peterborough to and through central London without the need to interchange with the Tube.
“These Thameslink Programme improvements are likely to give our customers in Peterborough great connections to new places south of the capital such as Gatwick Airport.”
Work has started to clear the land to the west of Peterborough station in preparation for major works to be carried out starting in April 2012. The project will be completed in December 2013.
In addition to this £43m project, work funded by East Coast and Network Rail has already begun on a £3m scheme to provide a brighter, bigger entrance and a larger concourse at the station.