The government has committed to spend £1.2 billion to upgrade the rail system along the east coast of the country. After the completion of the new platform in Stevenage, the investment is already starting to pay off.
Here, we’ll look at the new platform and the benefits it is providing, alongside the government’s overall investment goal.
What is the £1.2 billion investment for?
The £1.2 billion investment is the biggest provided to the East Coast Main Line in a generation. It is designed to help boost connectivity between London, Scotland and the North.
Upon its completion, passengers will experience improved punctuality and reliability.
New platform delivered ahead of time
The new £40 million platform in Stevenage has been delivered over a year ahead of schedule. It was built to offer better connectivity from the station to the rest of the east coast main line.
Passengers at the station now have access to more reliable and frequent train services. Work on Platform 5 started in 2019. It was built to so that Hertford North Line trains from the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) could easily terminate and head back to London. This creates additional space for the existing tracks.
The new platform has 3 seating areas, 2 waiting rooms, a ticket machine and help point. It can be reached via an extended station footbridge using the stairs or a passenger lift.
Work set to continue in September 2020
On September 5th and 6th, work will continue as part of the investment at Kings Cross station. Network Rail issued a notice to passengers to make them aware of the work which will affect the East Coast Main Line.
They will be working on reopening a disused railway tunnel, enabling more trains to pass through the station. The tracks on specific platforms will also be improved, alongside improved signalling within the station for smoother journeys.
South west also receives significant investment
It isn’t just the north and the east that are set to benefit from the investment. The south of the UK is also seeing improvements made through a £1.2 billion scheme.
The rail upgrades are set to reopen the south west. The second track of the Salisbury to Exeter line will be reinstated as part of the works carried out. There will also be improvements to tracks and community rail services introduced throughout the south west stations.
The government has spent a significant amount in 2020 to improve the country’s transport links. Upgrading the rail network not only benefits passengers, but it is good for tourism and investment too. So far, work has been completed way ahead of schedule, helping to government to get some of its investment back.
Overall, the £1.2 billion investment into the East Coast Main Line is set to bring significant improvements. Rail passengers have had to put up with poor connections, overcrowded trains and an endless range of issues for years. The improvements being made will make rail travel across the country easier, more convenient and more comfortable.