Passengers using Northwich rail station on the Manchester to Chester line are going to find it a whole lot easier to get on and off trains once Network Rail installs a ‘Harrington Hump’ on each platform.
Funded by Northern Rail and Cheshire West & Chester Council, work will start on Monday 21 March and could be completed by the weekend. The humps will be fixed on the platforms to correspond with the normal stopping place of the trains’ disabled access door.
Jo Kaye, Network Rail route director, said: “We have found a novel solution to an age old problem that has caused concern for numerous potential rail passengers throughout the country who simply could not travel by train because of the low platform height.
“It is the ideal solution for stations that have a small number of passengers and therefore the comparatively high cost of completely rebuilding the platforms is not viable.”
Mark Barker, client and stakeholder manager for Northern Rail, comments: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and Network Rail to make improvements allowing passengers, who have previously been unable to travel by train, to use the rail network.”
Charlie Seward, the council’s director of regeneration and culture said: “The difference in height between trains and the platforms at Northwich has been a long standing problem for rail passengers and an issue that Cheshire West and Chester Council promised to tackle. We are pleased that partnership working with Northern Rail, Network Rail and the Council has led to the installation of two Harrington humps.”
Nicknamed the ‘Harrington Hump’, it is a system for raising the height of platforms which in the past have been too low for all but the most able-bodied of rail travellers to use. Now, passengers who have previously been denied access to the railway network could have untold journey opportunities opened up to them.
Initially developed in a joint initiative between Network Rail and Cumbria County Council, the system can be custom built to suit the needs of a particular station and installed in a matter of days at a fraction of the accepted cost of rebuilding the platform.